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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    August 26, 2013
    8:00 - 2:01pm EDT  

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.. >> the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. and later, senator tom coburn hears from his constituents during a town hall meeting in oklahoma. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider.
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>> host: walt mossberg, has technology plateaued? >> guest: oh, no, absolutely not. absolutely not. technology is always changing and always coming up with -- technology companies are always coming up with something new, and there are new technology companies all the time incubating, a lot of them are in what we call stealth mode. we don't even know who they are. certain technologies plateau and things move on, but in general, no. not at all. >> host: i guess i ask that because the last couple years we've had the explosion of smartphones, we've had tablets come online. what's out there? >> guest: well, first of all, there are vast numbers of people especially in the less developed cups, but even in the developed
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countries who don't own a smartphone and, certainly, there are vast thurms that don't own -- numbers that don't own a tablet. to give you a rough example, apple -- which leads in the tablet market -- has sold somewhere around 160 million ipads since 2010. that's a remarkable achievement and for people that own apple stock and, you know, i don't own any stock in any of these companies, that makes them very happy. but even 160 million ipads and then even if you add in the android tablets, it's a, it's a small fraction of the people that could own a tablet, especially as the prices come down. so, you know, there has been a lot of talk about the difficulty
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of innovating in the smartphone space, but -- and we have seen a couple of iterations by apple and samsung that haven't been big, giant jumps in innovation. this often happens. but i think there's even much more to do with the smartphone. just to give you one example, the less you have to pull the phone out of your purse or your pocket and the less you have to hit icons and buttons no matter how ingeniously designed they are, the more convenient and kind of natural the process will seem. and so there's a lot of work going on in voice recognition, in what are called wearables.
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you know, google glass is a good example, smart things you wear on your wrist. i'm not talking about the fitness meters now that are out there, but significantly beyond that that would tie back into the cell phone sitting, the smartphone sitting in your pocket or purse and allow you to do a bunch of things. also giving, just staying on the smartphone for a minute and that's hardly the only area of technology, but giving it more capabilities and more intelligence in a way that's easier to use. so making a smartphone that is aware, to some extent -- not in a human sense, but aware of its surroundings, aware of what's going on. so just today, for instance, motorola which is now owned by google is announcing a new
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smartphone that it says can automatically adjust its functions when it senses that it's this a moving car -- it's in a moving car, when it senses that it's in your pants pocket, you know? it'll shut down the screen and other functions to save battery because it senses it's turned down in your pocket. you can pull it out of your pocket and just by twisting your wrist it'll immediately turn the camera on even before you've unlocked the phone or pressed any button of any kind or an icon, done any swipe on the screen or anything. so those are, you know, examples of something that i think can get much bigger which is phones, tablets, wearable devices using
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their sensors, so gyroscopes and then new kinds of sensors that maybe can detect body heat or body function to do different things. so we have a lot of stuff going on in technology now. >> host: who's developing those sensors? >> guest: i don't know the names of the companies. obviously, the customers for the sensors are, many of them are well known. apple buys a lot of sensors. if you have an iphone, there are a whole bunch of sensors in there. if you have a samsung glaxly phone -- galaxy phone, there are a whole bunch of sensors in there. and then there are people making these medical devices or fitness devices that are using various new types of sensors. so there's just a ton going on. at the same time, you are right, some things are plateauing or
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even decan lining. the pc. i've been writing for years now the pc has peaked. and the proof has finally arrived in the last year or so where you've seen pc sales actually falling dramatically, in the double digits, five quarters in a row. and before that it had been quite flat. some of this had to do with the economic meltdown around the developed world and really the whole world over the last four or five years, but even as economies have recovered, the pc has peaked. when i say it's peaked, i don't mean it's done. i don't mean people are going to throw their pcs away. i don't mean that tablets and smartphones, for instance, can
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replace everything a laptop can do. but what's happening is that there are enough daily scenarios for which people used to grab their laptop that are more conveniently done now on a tablet, especially a tablet but also a smartphone. that, people find their actual with daily use of their laptop has declined significantly. they still haul it out for things that a tablet and a smartphone don't do very well like, for instance, creating a complicated spread sheet or writing a long, you know, you're not going to write a novel probably on even an ipad with a keyboard. but people are finding they use them less. and as they use them less, it means they feel like directing their money toward one of these
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other devices and not replacing a laptop as often. so that's what i mean by peaking, and i think that's what most of the experts mean by peaking. and yeah. so some technologies plateau. right now there's somewhat of a plateau in smartphones, although i don't think it'll last very long. it's not a plateau so much in sales so much as it is in feature innovation. but as i just explained, with the kind of self-awareness thing, i think we're going to see a bunch of that. so i think that's going to keep going. and then other things get replaced or declined or become less important in the life of somebody who depends on technology, and the pc is an example of that. >> host: how's the blackberry q10 doing? >> guest: i don't know what the sales are of the blackberry q10. for those who don't know, we should explain that, you know, blackberry -- which i think most
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people know has been in a lot of trouble, missed a lot of the kind of revolution set off by the iphone -- very tied to corporate i.t. departments which themselves have lost a lot of power and influence. blackberry changed its leadership, changed its entire operating system platform and brought out two new phones. one's called the z10, and that is a all-touch phone directly competitive with the iphone and the android phones like the samsungs and the htcs. and that has not done very well. the other one was called the q10. same software, same function functionality on the software, but it looks more like a regular, traditional blackberry with a physical keyboard x.
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that's been out i want to say two months or less, and i don't know the sales numbers on that. my guess is that will do pretty well, at least in the first sales order or two that it's out because there is a pent-up demand among people -- mostly blackberry users -- who like physical keyboards, and this is a much more modern software, it has a much more modern software base than the old blackberry, so they can keep using their physical keyboard and not feel so behind the android and iphone friends they may have. but i think the company's belief was that there was a finite number of those people, and that's why they had to bring out the other type of phone which is more directly similar to the iphone and to the android
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phones. so i don't know how the q10 will do. i'm guessing it'll do pretty well in the first quarter of two. >> host: have you reviewed the z10, and how did it compare? >> guest: i've reviewed the z10. a colleague, my reviewing partner, katie barrett, works with me here in the d.c. office. i thought the z10 was okay, and it had a couple of interesting features. but blackberry, like windows phone which is another platform where most of the phones are made by nokia, they're in a difficult can situation because -- difficult situation because they got started at least in this new generation, the post-iphone generation of smartphones, they got started late. and it's been difficult for them to attract the apps, the varian
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te and the -- variety and certainly the important apps that i think people are looking for. so they're really engaged in a a battle for number three. and it's just, it's a tough situation. it's not that the phones are terrible or anything like that. they, you know, windows' phone has really got a quite nice user interface, and it's been carefully thought through. the nokia phones, hardware built around it has, for the most part, been pretty good. but they haven't been able to attract, you know, all of the, an app like, say, instagram. and, of course, this changes day by day, so what i'm telling you right now might have changed by
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the time people see the show. but last time i checked they didn't have instagram on there. i'm not sure, i don't think it's on the blackberry. it might be, but that's just one example. and be then new apps come out all the time. and app developers, whether they're a small shop of five people or a big company with an app development team, you know, these folks have limited resources. they have to prioritize what they do, and they're looking for the platform where they can also monetize their app as quickly as they can, and they continually go to apple and android. it's a chore for blackberry and for microsoft to convince them to go with their platforms. >> host: are apps for apple and android d.c.s on par now --
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devices on par now? >> guest: they're more on par. til maybe the last nine months to a year i think there were a large number of apps where the very same app would just be much richer and nicer on an ios which is the iphone, an ipad operating system, the apple one, than there were on android. i think that there's a lot more parity. i think still think -- i still think of the almost a million apps on both of those app stores you're going to find a greater number that are higher quality on the apple side and a lesser number that are the same quality on the android side. you're also going to find a lot more malware, viruses or other kinds of malicious software, on the android side. there's a reason for that that i
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can explain. but on the quality issue, i think the gap is closing. and, certainly, the numbers of app as. android may even have more apps now than apple. >> host: why the malware on the android side? >> guest: well, there's probably some technical, under-the-hood issues that i don't understand because i'm not an engineer, but i know that the one big issue is that the android app store which is called google play is not curated. you can submit an app, and google never -- doesn't review it. so it's easier to slip things in. apple famously curates all the apps in their store and, you know, they get criticized by some people who believe you shouldn't make any choices in what you offer, everything should be allowed. apple just says, you know, we -- i think the number is 2% or 3%
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of the apps that are submitted to us, and i think that's true. but one of their criteria is that they test these things, and they reject the ones they think carry malware. they're not perfect, but they've been pretty good. i don't think there is any significant malware on the iphone. there is, there have been estimates i have seen that as many as 60% of the apps on, in the android store carry some amount of malware. now, i'm not endorsing that number, but i've seen estimates like that. it doesn't mean those apps get downloaded a lot compared to the ones that are safe and popular. i mean, you know, there's -- i presume there's no malware in the facebook app. i presume there's no malware in the, you know, twitter app and the instagram app or whatever or
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the various games that are frequently downloaded on both platforms. so the, that -- even if that 60% number were true, it wouldn't mean 60% of the actual downloaded and used apps have malware. but, you know, google's aware of this, they understood the risk, and they just preferred -- and they will yank apps after the fact if they learn they are in some way a problem, but they don't curate beforehand, and apple does. some people are drawn to apple for what it does, some people are drawn to android -- there are many reasons -- but some people are drawn to android for that reason, that they don't like the idea of cure rating. >> host: well, walt mossberg of "the wall street journal," what do you use? >> guest: well, i'm not a good example because due to my job, i use everything. right now i'm sitting here with
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a brand new android phone that was just announced today, this one by motorola called the moto swz s which is this. >> host: looks like a normal phone. hold it up -- >> guest: yeah. it has interesting features. as i was saying, it has the ability to sense certain things about its location and movements, and then i also have this iphone 5. so, you know, i'm always using multiple devices. i own, i personally own iphone, a couple of ipads, couple of google android tablets and a couple of android phones. so, you know, i try to use what i like the best and what works best for me, but as a racket -- practical matter i own three or
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four windows computers and three or four macs. i have a roku and an apple the and a crime cast which is the newest tv device. i have them all on my tv at home. >> host: well, speaking of which, we asked some reporters who cover technology here in washington if they had any questions for you, and -- >> guest: yeah, you do that. that's annoying, but -- [laughter] >> host: one of the questions was about the chrome cast, and this reporter says you recently reviewed and recommended google's new chrome cast product. how will chrome cast change television viewing habits? >> guest: well, we have to back up and explain what we're talking about because i don't think we can assume everyone knows what chrome cast is. so the tech industry in general and especially apple and google and a few, microsoft and a few other companies have been trying to change television.
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they've changed phones, they've changed, you know, the music industry, they've changed lots of things, but television has been a hard nut to crack which frustrates these guys because they regard it as really pretty backward. i mean, if you think about it, if you carry around one of these devices and ten you look at -- and then you look at how these work and how your tv works, try to go to the menu on your tv and change something, you know, it's really quite primitive even if the tv is new, even if it has a so-called smart tv functionality. and so the technology guys have been trying to reinvent tv. the problem is that there are two problems, the biggest problem is that you can build a tv, but what you really -- what they really want to do is change the content that's coming into the tv and equalize it.
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they want to equalize the internet content like netflix or hulu or itunes content, amazon content. they want to make that just another choice along with c-span and nbc and, you know, hbo and whatever else you're getting from your cable company. the media companies are not crazy about that, and so there's been a lot of friction there. the second problem is if you build a tv, and let's say you built a revolutionary tv that was much easier to use and took some of lessons from these devices or even, you know, integrated with all of your other device cans which is all perfectly possible, you've built a device in the tv that people really don't replace more than every -- i forgot the number, but it's, what, seven or eight years that people keep tvs and
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then replace them. it's not like these things, these phones which a lot of people replace every couple of years. so it's not as good a business in some respects for these companies. so that's the backdrop. they're trying to change tv. the only way or the way they have so far been doing it has been by building a box that you plug into the tv, and there's apple tv. they've sold about 13 million of those which is, makes it one of their very smallest products in their financial reports, but i they've sold about 13 million. and be the interesting thing about that number is about half of those have been sold in the last year or so, i think. if i'm not mistaken. so it's accelerated. roku, which is a competitor, sold about five million of a similar box. and these boxes, what they do is bring content that is not coming
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from the cable company because these are not cable boxes, internet content to your tv. so netflix is a great example be, youtube is a great example, itunes, amazon, whatever. google tried that. they tried something called google tv which they did the software and a couple of other companies did the hardware, and it was a failure. i gave it quite a bad review. it was kind of a mishmash and didn't work very easily. chromecast is google's second attempt, and what it is is, it says, you know what? we're not going to build a complicated box that goes on the tv. we're not going to put content streams into that box. we're just going to make a little thing that looks like a usb flash drive. you plug it into a port called an hdmi port which is a common, the common port on the back of
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hd-tvs, and then there's a wire that you just plug it into power. and whether you have an android phone or whether you have an iphone or tablets of those two types, you'll be able -- you'll see a little icon pop be up that will let you just beam whatever you would be watching on the phone or tablet onto the tv screen. and that's the new product they came out with. it costs $35. now apple, for several years, has had a similar thing. if you happen to own an apple tv, in addition to the programming that's on the apple tv that's built into it like, i don't know, major league baseball, itunes, photos, things like that, you've been able to use a technology of theirs called airplay which does the same thing. there's a little icon on the screen. i'm watching a video or audio,
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you know, music, i hit that, wirelessly beams it to the tv. so apple had that, airplay. google has it with chromecast. the pros and cons are kind of inverse to each other. the positive on apple's airplay system is that it works with thousands of apps, and the app developer doesn't have to do anything. the little airplay icon just appears. it works on just too many apps to go into. you can sit down and just review all your photos on the tv screen with no wires. just hit that button. the downside on the apple product and system is it only works with apple products. so if you have an iphone, an ipad or a mac, it'll work. if you have a windows computer, an android phone, airplay
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doesn't work even if you own an apple tv. on the chromecast that just came out, it works across platforms. it doesn't only work with google's android operating system devices. it works with apple's devices. and on a windows computer to -- computer or a mac with google's browser, which is called chrome, it'll work with that. so if you have a windows laptop and the chrome browser and you want to go to the youtube site, you want to watch a youtube video on your tv screen, it'll work. so google has crossed platform, apple is apple only. this is not an uncommon thing. and then the downside is that chromecast so far only works with a handful of apps. on android device cans it works with four apps. four out of a million. i mean, it works with -- and they're important apps for video, so it works with netflix,
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youtube -- which google owns -- and then google's own video and music apps. there's only really one app that google doesn't own. on the iphone it works with netflix and youtube. and in my tests the reason i gave it a good review was it worked. i tried it on an old tv, an old hd-tv and a newer one, i tried it on apple products and android products and windows laptops, and, you know, it just worked. the challenge for google is to get more companies to sign on and add that little chromecast icon to their apps. and the challenge for apple might be to open it up to other companies' devices. >> host: and we're talking on "the communicators" with walt moss be berg, personal technology columnist for the wall street journal -- walt mossberg. >> c-span created by america's
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cable companies in 197 t, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> just ahead, georgia congressman john lewis. he shares his experiences as an organizer and speaker 50 years after the 1963 march on washington. after that, senator tom coburn hears from the his constituents at a town hall meeting in muskogee, oklahoma, on several issues including the health care law, gun rights and government accountability. >> washington journal's spotlight on magazines continues this week. today national review's senior editor jay in order linger talks about his profile of stephen 45r7er in his article, "leader of the west. he talks about policies and how he's viewed by american keys. you can watch the interview at 7:10 p.m. eastern here on
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c-span2. >> in our original series, "first ladies: influence and image," we've looked at the public and private lives of the first ladies during the nation's first 112 years. now, as we move into the modern era, we'll feature the first ladies in their own words. >> the building of human rights would be one of the foundation stones on which we would build in the world an atmosphere in which peace could grow. >> i don't think the white house can completely belong to one person. it belongs to the people of america, and i think whoever lives in it, the first lady, should preserve the traditions and leave something of herself there. >> season two of "first ladies" from edith roosevelt to michelle obama. live monday nights including your calls, facebook comments and tweets starting september 9th at 9 eastern on c-span. and tonight we'll conclude the encore presentation of season one of our series with first
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lady ida mckinley. >> georgia democratic congressman john lewis spoke recently about his experiences organizing and speaking at the 1963 march on washington where martin luther king jr. delivered his "i have a dream" speech. congressman lewis made these remarks during a town hall meeting in washington commemorating the 50th answerers -- anniversary of the march. other speakers include hank thomas. this event was hosted by thefy beta sigma fraternity. >> good afternoon. i am ivory lyle, i'm the international director for phi bay that sigma -- pay that sigma, and i want to welcome you here this evening. it is our intent to have a conversation about moving forward. it has been, it is so critical that as we look at this town
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hall meeting today that we take a retrospective look on where we have come. but it's as critically important that we look forward to where we're going. and that is the purpose of what we're here to discuss. we have with us today some distinguished panelists who are going to be addressing questions related to how far we've come in this whole movement as we look at jobs, as we look at justice, as we look at civil rights. in general, as we look at freedom. and so i hope you will be impressed with the conversation that we're about to take place. let me start on my left as we introduce our panelists to you. you have a brief two ductly -- introductory platform. we have henry "hank" thomas who is a civil rights activist and leader from the 'of -- '60s,
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and i've had a wonderful opportunity to visit with brother thomas about many of the things we have in common and many of the things i witnessed as a child growing up in he's that he helped put in place. so i think he will bring a tremendous perspective as we look at how does sigma take these things back to our communities. and, of course, we have our own international president, brother jonathan mason, who's going to be weighing in on the conversation as well. the grand -- [inaudible] mary wright is with us this evening, and we always appreciate her coming and being a part of this conversation. what a grand lady she is, and we just thank you so much. and dr -- [inaudible] we appreciate him who's a commentary, a mover and shaker in the whole realm of social justice on the west coast, a
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esteemed brother of ours and someone who's made a mark of standing for justice and standing tall for justice, and we appreciate him being here. we are awaiting on the arrival of congressman lewis, our brother and from they werety -- fraternity. as we start the conversation, there will be ample opportunity for those of you in the audience to ask questions as we move forward and as we begin the dialogue, because we want to have a conversation. and i'd like to start the first question off, if i may, because we do have limited time with the room, and as a result of that, i'd like to start the first question off talking about leading up to the march on washington. there had been many things taking place in the south, and so i'd like to know what are some of those incidents and events that precipitated the beginning of the people to think about we need to do something different? brother thomas?
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>> good afternoon. it is my pleasure and honor to be here. 53 years ago i was a student at howard university. and as you know from reading your history, it was 53 years ago that, shall we say, this phase of our fight for freedom got started with those four students at north carolina a and t, when they sat down at the wool worth lunch counter february 1, 1960. wasn't long after that that we at howard got started as well. now, the the city of washington, d.c. had a public accommodation law so the segregation that prevailed throughout the south as far as restaurants and everything did not occur here in washington. but right across the border in both maryland and virginia we had that.
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and so students at howard along with white students from american university and georgetown university got together, and we formed an organization called the nonviolent student action group. and we'd go over in either maryland or virginia on alternating weekends, and that's how we got started. so we at howard and georgetown and american university were participating in the sit-in movement. i was also one of the 13 be original -- 13 original freedom riders. and if any of you, and i hope by now you've seen the movie "the butler," there's a scene in there with reference to the freedom right. i was on that bus that was fire bombed in alabama. and the trailway bus which followed us by a couple of hours, those particular freedom riders were beaten up pretty badly. and when they finally were out of aniston and got to
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birmingham, they were beaten again. so what we did galvanized a whole nation. and before the freedom rides were over with the icc officially outlawing segregation on interstate transportation, we had a total of 426 people who had participated in the freedom rides. and for those of you here, i want you to know that 50% of all of the freedom riders were white. so we, indeed, had a very integrated movement. and of the white students, i would say probably 70-75% of them were jews. so jews have always certainly in terms of the direct action civil rights, been staunch allies of ours. after the nation was galvanized to the, and seeing the injustice that was committed in the freedom ride and, of course,
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thereafter you had the movements of dr. king throughout the south. and finally the idea of bringing our struggles to the attention of the nation in terms of having a march on washington. at that particular time, i had come back to howard university as a student, and i was fortunate enough and honored enough to have been chosen to be one of the marshals for that particular march. and as a marshal, our job was, number one, to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who would be coming in to the city. and another crucial part of that that you need to understand, we were just as concerned about the actions and activities of the fbi. this was j. edgar hoover's fbi. they had been known, and i have had perm experience of them -- personal experience of them putting in agent provocateurs in
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our demonstration to deliberately start trouble in order to discredit dr. king and discredit the civil rights movement. so that was a genuine concern of ours. and as marshals, our job was to keep an eye out for anybody who perhaps looked like they're starting some trouble, and if they did, to kind of surround them and get them out of there. so as my part was just to see that order was kept. >> one of the things we talked about before the panelist group started i'd like you to expand upon was the idea that many of the spark plugs behind the civil rights movement was led by college students. and we were talking a lot about the idea that i started my professional career in philadelphia, mississippi. and many may relate to that. the death of those three civil rights workers there. but you also relate the fact
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that there was many others all across the great state of mississippi and in other southern states who sacrificed as well. and so share some of your opinions on the ideal of galvanizing the college youth. >> we followed the tradition as college students of young people and college students all over the world. when you talk about changing the social order, it is usually the young people, the young, educated people who will generally spear that particular change. -- spearhead that particular change. so we followed that same historical tradition. when, we know about the three civil rights workers who were murdered, but during that same period from june, i think, through september a total of 7 other blacks -- 27 other blacks, young black males, were murdered in mississippi. i related the you the story of two students at alcorn college who were just coming back to the campus from downtown, and two
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carloads of klansmen kidnapped them, and they found be their bodies, i think, two, three days later happening from trees, riddled with bullets. so the klan just randomly took revenge on quite a few blacks found in rivers, ponds, a couple of them were found, the bodies had been burned. so that period in mississippi was a very dangerous and bloody period. and blacks were thrown off of their land. there were some cities like fort gibson, mississippi, where white merchants just refused to sell blacks anything. and if you had gone down to register to vote, your name was attached to a bulletin on the front of the courthouse, and all a white person had to do is to go down there and look at the names. and if you worked for one of them, they saw your name
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there -- as trying to register to vote -- you were immediately fired and generally thrown off the land. >> with let me ask our two, our president and our grant to weigh in on this whole concept of the college kids or the college student, i'm sorry for using the term, the college student because of being able to make a difference. and that's one of the things that sigma and theta bring to the table. how do we galvanize that energy today? >> let me, let me first say, one, that i sit here today in awe sitting next to mr. thomas. and, mr. thomas, i want to thank you for what you've done and the trail that you've blazed so that we're able to do the things that we do today. we are truly appreciative of your efforts. you know, as a 40-year-old black male, i've seen all of the video footage, but i was not even a thought at that time. and when you think about the
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fact that there were people of our race that had the courage to get on those buses and drive down into lands where they knew that they would be attacked, where they knew that the klan would be waiting on them, sometimes you sit back and you think to yourself introspectively would i have the same courage? and truly, to be able to sit next to living history and congressman lewis, when he gets here, to be able to be this their presence, we truly owe them a debt of gratitude. [applause] that's right. but america is only -- has only put a small down payment on the debt that they owe us. when trayvon martin can be gunned down for having a hoodie, that means that the debt is
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still owed. but we need to understand that we are the debt payers now. we're not waiting on anybody to give us anything. we're not waiting on anybody to come and rescue us. we have the ability because of trailblazers like mr. thomas and congressman lewis to be able to make things happen for ourselves. so to your point, dr. love, well, i'm a baptist preach or, and it's biblical. from the mouth of babes. so when you think about college students, that's where the genesis comes from. finish it's our youth. it's fresh thinking. it's a mindset. and it's people who aren't jaded, but people who have a vision that they want to see implemented. so with an organization like phi beta sigma fraternity, a 99-year-old organization which will turn 100 in just a few months, we have over 300 collegiate chapters across our,
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across this country. there's a tremendous opportunity for our young people to galvanize and mobilize and make change on these campuses and in their communities. it is the, the it is the responsibility of leadership to mobilize and give them the resources that they need to make that difference. and that's a commitment that the leadership of phi beta sigma has made, to give our young people the opportunity to create change. our motto is one fraternity working together to transform our communities. we have not overcome, and we need to understand that the battle is not yet complete. and it's going to take the next generation to really see us through. so we're committed to that, and our collegiate chapters are absolutely focused on making that change. ..
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[inaudible conversations] >> thank you so much. and let me begin by first of all thanking the members of phi beta sigma or allowing theta to be a part of this town hall. first of all, you are only 40. i'll add 20 was some years to that. [laughter] to let you know that i was in the 11th grade 10th grader really when the first march came. but i want you to understand that as women we were not given
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as much respect, this ability, as we are now. so we thank you for allowing us to be part of this town hall meeting. i also want you to know that with our fraternities and sororities, all of our founders were undergraduates. so that means they lead us to find can you hear for 100 years. we are here 4903. the others before were all 100, celebrated their anniversary. so undergraduates are very important. all we need to do is to refocus them, that they are our future, that they can do. and given the ability to be able to lead. sometimes we handicap them as graduate members. they are young, they don't know what to do. let me tell you, they know exactly what to do. and with social media, await it is now, they can get the news out faster than we can. so we need to encourage them.
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we need to give them the financial stability, the help, the leadership, the guidance that they need. and expose them to people who can share with them some of the stories. and i think about claire booth or who was a civil rights activist to zeta and she did marches. she was jailed. she did all of those things. and i just learned of her like three weeks ago and i go okay, why are which is learning about heard now? so we need to begin to make sure that our undergraduates know that women and men thought to get us where we are, and we cannot sit back and take it lightly and said oh, it's going to go away. no, it's not going to go away. it's going to take more than zeta and more than cigna. it will take all of nine, all african-americans organizations to work together. we're here for the march, not to see you whose you this weekend or how many people show up. but we need to listen to what we
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can do to help our first african-american president move this country to another level. and get rid of all of this injustice in jobs and everything. we can only do if we worked together. it's not about zeta. it's not about the sigma anymore. it's about african-americans. so zeta phi beta is willing to join hands with any group who is ready to move our country to the next level, as we continue to fight for our rights. >> as look at the history, there was a lot of organizations coming together in what i would like to call teamwork to make sure that the march a curve. where's that teamwork now? do you see us translating that to today and into the future? talk a little bit about the perspective of not one person the standing together to get things done. >> well, first of all, the context to your prior question
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as to why we came to washington 50 years ago. the march on washington was actually an idea that was proposed by our sigma brother, a. philip randolph, in 1941 as a pressure tactic to get franklin delano roosevelt to desegregate the defense industry. and he didn't have to do that. and so as soon and this brother randolph put the threat out there, president roosevelt desegregated the defense industry, and then president truman desegregated the military. and so you saw it as an effective tool. during the eisenhower administration, eisenhower actually was the first president to use the authority of the federal government to desegregate schools in little rock, arkansas. and so when the kennedy administration came about, the knock on the kennedy
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administration was that he did not want to get involved in civil rights, besides calling king when he been jailed in atlanta during the 1960 campaign. kennedy by and long kept a hands off distance on civil rights. until the freedom rider incident. in 1961-1962. 1963 was a bellwether year for the civil rights movement, and the single most significant event of 1963, outside of the assassination of the president, was birmingham. birmingham movement basically put the southern racial politics on national display. it was a period of time in which king suffered his severest criticism for putting women and children in harm's way. basically, the black leadership had turned on king, most notably roy wilkins and thurgood marshall. a. philip randolph step forward compared remember king was only 34 at the time.
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and so it was a. philip randolph who said look, back up off of him. i've got a plan that can mobilize the nation. and he bought for the march on washington that he had had on the shelf for 20 years. not only that, he said, i'm going to give dr. king the platform to articulate his view, his message. and that's what he did. cane, now unfortunately for history's sake, who organized the march on washington has been misappropriated to dr. king. team was only the featured speaker. okay? he was not the organizer. the organizer was a. philip randolph and buyer dressed and. but have the team came -- byron rustin. a. philip randolph had the muscle through the union to be able to underwrite the march. and what can have done, remember when the youth began to go to
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jail, king was obligated to go to jail with him and he wrote the letter from the birmingham jail, essentially calling on white clergy to step forward. so the march was the opportunity to make white clergy demonstrate that they were, in fact, in support of civil rights. and they helped underwrite a significant portion of that, too. now, how does that move us figures for. well, the criticism of our president, and we should not be afraid to criticize our president to we shouldn't over criticize him. is that he has not done enough on social policy. and so we've come to washington. basically they came to washington in 1963 to make the unity administration take a higher profile. it wasn't until james meredith was shot at the university of mississippi that the kennedy administration sent federal troops down to the university of mississippi. well, we don't have to go to
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that level today, president barack obama does have to take a stronger position on social justice, particularly with respect to issues of poverty and jobs. >> if i may, because congressman moses entered the room, i want to go back to this whole idea of galvanizing the college. energy that exists because the youngest speaker at the march 50 years ago, and get his perspective on what he sees as rule for those young individuals today as we look for freedom and civil rights and peace and jobs. >> well, we must turn the pages of history. first of all, let just say that i'm delighted and very happy to see each and everyone of you. and welcome to capitol hill. but the young people, ma the students, the college students -- [inaudible] by the action of rosa parks, and the people in
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montgomery. some of you may be old enough to remember that in 1957 and 1958, there was a book published called martin luther king, jr. and the montgomery story. it was a comic book. a group of young people, a group of students in greensboro, north carolina, read that book and they saw, they studied that book. and later a group of us saw in nashville. we read that book. about the philosophy and the discipline of nonviolence. we came together, stoo stay togr and went to jail together. and believed in the philosophy of peace and love and nonviolence. so we started in nashville, tennessee, in the fall of 1959. students from tennessee state university, met the medical school, american baptist theological seminary, and some
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students from vanderbilt and people of other college, black and white. we have nonviolent workshop your every tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at a little methodist church. and we were ready when the young people start sitting in in greensboro february 1, 1960. said with the 10th. we started sitting in on a regular basis. we didn't have a website. we hadn't heard of the internet. facebook to redeem you have a cellular telephone but we didn't even have a fax machine. had one of those mimeograph machine's. but we use what we had. we communicate. we organized and we organized, and the student non-violent coordinating committee was organized easter weekend, april 1960, at shaw university in raleigh, north carolina, and does a young lady by the name of
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ella baker who was born and reared in north carolina, attended shaw. she was working for dr. king. he told her to go out and bring these young people together. and martin luther king, jr. thought we were going to be the arm of sclc. ella baker and people like jim lawson said we should have our own independent organization. so sncc became the core dating committee, and later on i want to speak about the march on washington. i was there. i was in every meeting for the big six. and i agree, if it hadn't been for a. philip randolph and bayard rustin, and bayard rustin didn't get the credit that he should receive. and i'm so glad that president barack obama is going to give him the medal of freedom in a few weeks, maybe a month or so. it is long overdue.
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countless people organize the unorganized and mobilize and put it together. i want to throw a question for any of the panelists to answer, and that is, as we look at the popular media was going on in washington now and across our nation in voter education and voter rights, it would appear to someone who is unknowledgeable or unskilled that we are rolling back our freedom, one of the things we're here to march for. we are rolling back civil rights. and how do we begin to mobilize ourselves that we can now address those rollbacks that are taking place in a positive way? >> the irony, the irony is that 50 years ago it was the southern democratic party that we were fighting, who are keeping blacks from voting in the south with
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police officers, with violence, with death, economic retaliati retaliation. and they reclaim states' rights at that particular time. the federal government was anything with states' rights. and, of course, now 50 years later, while they don't have the police dogs and the fire hoses and things of that nature, it's the republicans who are now determined, they call it voter suppression. they weren't so sophisticated in what they called it 50 years ago, but it's voter suppression. i'm so we are almost to a certain extent right back to where we started. and make no mistake about it, it is their desire that they want to keep as many blacks and latinos from voting as those southern sheriffs did 50 years ago. and this is a time for both blacks and latinos unite,
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because we now have that common enemy. but i am so happy that attorney general eric holder is stepping up and standing up, and saying in effect that this will not pass. but we've got that same fight all over again, and it is the irony that on the 50th anniversary what we fought so hard for we've got to start doing it again. >> let's think about it for a second. what mr. thomas said is correct. the sophistication level has risen. when we think about a word that's used now called redistricting. now, i live in new jersey, and formally democratic areas are now elected -- electing republicans in the council seats because of redistricting. and what has happened is, in my
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mind, in some ways we've become apathetic and we've become tone deaf to what's going on out there. because see, they have created a whole genre of media that is specifically focused on motivating and pushing their agenda. let me share this with you. i work in radio. i had been a radio for 18 years, and i run sales, direct sales for wabc radio and the syndication network to let me tell you my personalities are. rush limbaugh, sean hannity, mark levine. i always tell our clients can i say, i don't agree with what they say but i agreed with the value of the customer that they put in front of you. but if you listen to what they say, if you listen to the words, it's all buzz. and see what happens is, the people that are fans of that type of talk radio, they are listening very carefully. we are not paying attention. and what they're doing in effect
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is mobilizing their forces. so what we have to do is we have to make sure that we educate our young people. we have to make sure that they are politically astute. we need to make sure that they are a part of the process of making change in our community. and that's what i believe the role of a segment and a zeta and the mine nine organization did. we both of youth auxiliary groups. zeta hous has agreed. we need to make sure that we have a political action arm that is teaching our young people about what their history is but more important how they can change the future. and if we can do that effectively, we then help to set the next generation up for change. and here's the other thing. we talk about, we talk about those that haven't gotten credit for establishing the march on washington, and it is true. i'm glad he gets the freedom of metal, a lot of people forget
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about claudette colvin. she was the first person to sit down on a bus, before rosa parks. but because she didn't look the look and talk the talk, she couldn't be the face of the movement. so we have to remember all of those soldiers that came before, that we need to make sure that we educate our young people about so they know we tried and how we need to continue on the way. >> as, again, our jobs and homes and our cars, we must not forget that there are others who may not be so lucky. that means we need to again go out into our communities to inform, educate, to energize, not only the young by the old at heart. and going back to what congressman lewis said, it may mean just having those town hall meetings with the communities to make them aware of changes in what they can do and not feel so
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depressed because some of them just give up. we are fine, but we have 90% of our communities that we need to reach out to make sure that they are unaware that they can, what they can do, what they are capable of doing and what they have the right to do. and at the sororities and fraternities we have the right to do that. and not only through our zeta club, beta club, our youth auxiliary's. because a lot of times the members of those are members of our sorority. we need to go out into the community and the schools and about schools and make sure that they are trained and prepared to go out into the communities and make sure. it requires a lot of work but we are also becoming a very complacent, to me, society where i just don't have time to do that. but we have to make time to do it because then we're going to reverse back to what used to be. so it's time for us to join hands and make sure they are
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educated. and energized. >> let me pose this to the two presidents rather quickly. one of the greatest threats i see in phi beta sigma and zeta phi beta is our communities connected. we are international so how do we draw off of the network that exists to impact changes in jobs, changes in freedom, changes in education as organizations? >> i thank you for that question. but as i showed earlier, i'm 40 and am realizing i'm getting older and if i don't say what's on my mind now, i'm going to forget it. so i have to say this. when we think about the civil rights movement and when we think about congressman lewis and mr. thomas, was the nerve center of the movement was, it was the black church. what has happened to the black church? why is the black church no longer the nerve center of our
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movement? now, i copastor the church in philadelphia, pennsylvania, and my father, he used to march with king in cicerone and ran with sanyo, again, another movement of them -- another hero of the movement a lot of people don't know, that the church was the center of everything. now our people get what i like to call a homogenized religion. they go to church for "60 minutes" at 8:00 in the morning on sunday, ma and then they are done for the rest of the day watching football. and if you ask them to come back for an afternoon service or for a prayer meeting order to galvanize or mobilize, they don't show up. what we need -- not just sigma and zeta can we need to call these pastors to task and get them to understand but also the responsibility that they have to
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move our communities forward. so i put that out there, and i made a commitment to we started a youth development program. we started a feeding program, but church is more than entertainment. and we need to understand it's not about the great song and a great words that just meant to get you hyped for a minute. but we need to movement in our churches. and when the churches come together and the fraternities and sororities, doctor liles, come together, then what the time we're going to have as we move to change our committees together in unity. idea thing we need to look at, we are too busy fighting one another. and even as you look at the gathering this coming week, you've got so many different organizations doing -- i don't even know where to go next week because there's so many organizations why aren't we altogether? commemorating and continuing this march experience as a
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people we've got to come together and understand the unity is the only way we're going to be able to progress. >> thank you. [applause] >> very nicely said. and that's what i said we need all of us working together. but with zeta web what is called hope. we are so focused on god initiative, and we do voter registration. we do a lot of things. we may need to increase that to include things that are jobs. because we just assume that we have jobs there is we think we are done. so in that initiative we may want to increase it to include other things. it's an initiative because the first year that it was established we reached over 1.5 million people with our initiative. so we just need to refocus and make sure that it includes all
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of the things that are necessary to help move our country ever for. and so that's what we need to do and that's what every organization needs to do. when we come together, brother mason, ric we have to come toger not because of the colors we where are the letters across our chest, but what we can do together to move this country forward. it will take all of us, more than just the divine not pick more than just the churches but it will take all african-americans groups working together to make sure that the dream of dr. king, a. philip randolph, congressman lewis, mr. thomas, to make sure that those continue to move forward. that's a we need to do and we can do that only when we work together to we have to stop saying, i don't have time. you know this 40 meeting the last four hours and your fighting over baked chicken or fried chicken? [laughter] it has to be something more positive. so together we can make a differencdifferenc e and that's what we're going to pledge. >> i just want to take just a
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moment to underscore the statement of the two presidents. if you just look back, in 1963, a. philip randolph probably was the only blank, or only leader that was so principled that could hold the group together. in many of those, he was so, i've said in the past and i said to someone earlier today, if a. philip randolph had been born on another continent, maybe in another country, maybe even of another color, maybe he would have been prime minister, maybe king, president or something. was such a principled man, and to hear wilson, whitney young, dr. king, and john lewis, the
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so-called militant radical, in the same room at the same table, and as a brethren, he would say over and over again. it was her brother and if you cannot say something good about somebody, does anything. and he also said things like, we have come this far together, let's stay together. it took that type of a person. since i've been back in washington, the past two or three days, you're right. there's so much going on. everybody having this having this, so many different organizations. we're going to have a march. they brought in for major white religions and labor leaders to join us. and we need that sense of unity. that sense of togetherness.
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we are all in the same boat, at least we were then. but now, you know, maybe we are no longer in the same boat. a. philip randolph uses a, our for mothers and our forefathers all came to this great land in different shapes, but we're all in the same boat now. but we lost something along the way during the past 50 years. hank, you know something about this. [laughter] >> i'm going to ask a broad question and give each of the panel is an opportunity answer and then we'll open it up to the floor for questions but and if not, then we will come back. but as i look at the newspaper, today even, and see the unemployment rate, and i read that it is twice as high in african-american communities, as i listen to the right wing commentators talk about the single headed households in african-american communities, how can this march, or how can
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our organization begin to address some of these pressing issues in civil rights, in job, and including our families back together? >> dr. lyles, let me respond to the. first of all, we have to drive the conversation. we can't let this conversation drive us. secondly, because black unemployment has always been twice as white unemployment, from day one, it's a battle for work with the battle for after slavery who would work in a wooden. unionization was protected work. he would be guaranteed work and who wouldn't, you know, so that's a dated conversation that we shouldn't allow ourselves to be preoccupied with respect to the deconstruction of the black family. we really need to focus on the prison industry complex, which we're having a conversation in california. the overincarceration of black males and how do we reverse that
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and how do we read a line that? but the thing that we needed to is we really need to, and this is a controversial statement, but i want you guys to process this, 1963 was the dawning of a new day. when kennedy, kennedy was the first president born in the 20th century. john lewis and hank thomas was having a different conversation than the generation that preceded them. in 1963, if the preceding generation had said to them, let's do things the way we did it in 1913, they probably would have walked out of the room, okay? we have to recognize that 1963 was a half a century ago and that the world has changed. and the paradigm of racism has changed.
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to the point of where most african-americans don't even recognize it. okay? and so if america was still the way it was, we never would've been able to elect barack obama. barack obama was not elected because he was a politician. he was elected because he was a pop-culture figure. and popular culture drives the social norm. they thought they was going to get him, and in 2012, and all he did was hit 40 million people on the hip and told them to go vote. and we saw what happened when they did show up in the midterm elections -- didn't show up. because this new generation doesn't understand politics. and so when 35 million young people didn't show up at the polls in 2010, the republicans got the house back. and the republicans was trying to put the buzz out that barack obama was old hat.
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he wasn't, barack obama showed them, i'm still just a popular in 2012 as i was in 2008 at and all he did was hit him on the hip through social media. and so we have to realize, one, how to reach people to organize them, and secondly, we have to realize that the world has changed and we can't use a predated or outdated paradigm to try to social change in the same way they did a half a century ago. >> one of the things i do not ever want to hear, and i pay no attention to a white person telling me something about the dysfunction black family when, for 150 years in this country, they destroyed the black family, made out to be certain there was no such a thing as a black family. you took the children of a black woman and you sold them. so please, don't talk to me about the dysfunction of the black family. [applause]
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and as you see on my resume, on marriott hotels and three mcdonald restaurants, and i am the son of an unwed mother. so i think i have done okay. and i understand we've got a guy in the white house who wasn't, didn't have his father in the household. the dynamic of my family as a result of a whole lot of stuff that's happened is different from that of the white family. and i think a lot of these serial killers all came from two parent households last night. >> adolf hitler was raised by loving to parents, okay? so let's not go that way. white folks telling me about what you've done and what i haven't risen above it, but i have. one of the things we have definitely must do, and that is
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to empathize to our children and especially to our young males, the absolute value of getting an education. i know it is sometimes difficult. we don't all travel the same smooth road together, but they emphasize the value of an education is very, very important. the other thing is, if i had my druthers, tomorrow, everyone in prisons for drug offense are having a few ounces of marijuana or crack cocaine in a pocket, i would release them. and i would go to new york, and every stockbroker up there who has been responsible for darn near bankrupting this country, i would put, i would stop and frisk of him and put him in jail. [applause] sotomayor bloomberg would
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concentrate on -- if mayor bloomberg would concentrate on the crime on wall street rather than the perceived crime in the black neighborhoods, maybe we would see some progress. >> anyone else? >> i don't think i can add anything to what has been said. i want to -- [inaudible] with my friend, good friend and supporter, my fellow freedom rider of 1961 when we boarded a bus right here on may 4, 1961, the senior barack obama was born. hank was only 19 i guess. >> you were the old man. >> i was 21. [laughter] and education is the key. education is the key. it is the most powerful instrument of tool we can use so
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that all of our children, all of our young people receive the best education. when i was a young child growing up in rural alabama, i had a wonderful teacher who told me how she said, my child, read, read. we had very few books at home. but i tried to read everything. we could afford a subscription to a newspaper but my grandfather had one. when you finish reading his newspaper each day, we got his newspaper. the news, current events. i listened to the radio. and with the little education that i received from the poorest staffs go i think it made me the person about him today. so i don't understand it when we have so much of a drop out. why can't we keep our young
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people in school, get an education, especially our young men? i know people don't like failure. hank, when we went on a protest during the '60s, we dressed up. we dressed up, and the young ladies, it was a whole thing of pride. the young ladies dressed up. but today, i don't know what's happening. we put on our ties, and sometimes you got to look the part. >> [inaudible] >> i just want to share with you a couple of things we can think about. about. i would, too, agree that education is the key, one of the things where to focus on is how do we make education affordable. you know, i went to norfork state university in norfolk, virginia, and when we to know for state from 1995, i went on a football and wrestling scholarship and a selected to
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people, you are not allowed to be this big without playing a sport. but i so so many of the young men that i start school with in 1990, august, and when i graduated in 1995, maybe four or five of them graduated with me. the rest dropped out of school. some flunked out and some just couldn't afford the books or their lodging. so, and at the same school that i went to that at that point was about eight, $9000 a year for an out of state student is now $27,000 a year. virginia state university, a school that used to be, i think we have a virginia state alumnus here. that used to be five or $6000 a year is now $31,000 a year. we have to take a serious look at how we work to make education
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affordable. here's the other thing i want us to think about. now, i live in a downward i paid five figures a year for taxes. why am i sending my baby son to a private school in another town? we have to think about the fact that in some of our communities the education that our children are getting is not as strong as the education that the kids one mile over are getting. so not only do we have to focus on making education affordable, we have to focus on making education equal. and you can't tell me when you send a child that's already dealing with something at home to a school where the teachers are dealing with something, two negatives don't end up being a positive. so we as organizations have to focus on how we help that situation. how do we provide real scholarships?
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$500 is nice, but we need to be mobilize our forces to put somebody through school. and because it's a sad, sad situation when a young person struggles from k-12, doesn't get a scholarship, and the family doesn't have money to send them to school. but and i think everybody in your nose people who have gone through that it adheres the challenge that you face, when you know you're right into school, life takes over. and you say you're going to go back, but a lot of times that cycle keeps on rolling and you never get back. so making education accessible, equal and affordable is something that went to focus on if we really want to see the change we are talking about. >> i also say organizations not only do we need to provide scholarships, and most of our organizations do, and we do provide a top to school wher weo into the school and read them --
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read to them and help them with homework. but we also must be able to do, that is to show the students whether to give grants and scholarships. we could do that easy as was give money. but to guide them. some of them have no idea what to do because not all of your counselors in high school are doing that and some of them may not be doing it for african-americans and giving it to others. so we want to make sure that we provide grants and scholarships, show them how to apply for those grants, had to do the scholarships. help the parents understand that this should not be done in his senior year but you should begin preparing for that in your freshman year. because as educators if we are -- if we don't educate them they won't know. i think that's the role organizations can do to help move our students into getting an education. because you know, i always told my son, they can take anything away from you, sweetheart, but they can't take away your
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education. >> with that we're going to open the floor. there's a mic so it can be recorded. so if you go to the mic. >> good evening, everyone. my name is daryl williams, and i have a question, and it piggybacks off congressman lewis talking about our kids today and this is pretty much the brothers pashtun woman talk about social media we talk about our kids today, i come from a father who was a graduate of howard university who is a doctor into his in the marine corps. and i come from myself as someone of law enforcement, and i don't want to say strict code of how i carry and conduct myself, but i've had a son and daughter and my daughter was never an issue. but when you talk about our young men today, and we talk about how they look and how we can look at pictures, and a great history book that was just
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produced by dr. samad and we look at the pictures and see how our young men, college students, carry themselves and how they dress, and as a father i found it very difficult for my own son. i would get the call from school, i had to grab him and say pull your pants up. with associate in the the way is today, dr. samad, how can we as a fraternity not only does talk to her club members but are college students on how do we carry ourselves? because social media seems to really with hip-hop and culture, has driven how our young boys carry themselves and a peer out in the public today. >> thank you for your question. brother williams. first and foremost, again, i need to go back to how the world has changed. if we look back 50 years ago, and particularly as our hair got longer, we looked crazy to that
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generation. instead of them telling us, boy, pull your pants up, they would say, boy, get a haircut, you know? we have to understand that nonconformity is part of the identity of a new generation, okay? now, how do you message to a new generation? you don't necessarily message by telling them to pull their pants up. you message maybe by saying, those are some nice things. it would go accident with a tie. you know, and they might come in with jeans and a tight. but the bottom line is you are halfway there. barack obama didn't become president by telling them to put down their phones, you know, or to get off the internet. he just reach them where they were. and so what we have to do, if we want to help shape their social
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and behavioral norms, we have to reach them where they are. now, i do have a problem with some of the conversation that they have, but social media is a powerful, powerful tool. there is no way that you're going to get in your sons and daughters ear before j.c. and beyoncé. ain't going to happen. i went to see j.c. and justin timberlake at the rose bowl, and i watched 70,000 people go like this. okay, they don't have the racial issues that we have. they have cultural issues. the issues of the 21st century and the issues of the 20th century was race and gender to the issue of the 21st century is last and sexual orientation. and so we will be able to communicate to argue who be able to communicate to use of a different racenicy by
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their circumstances. and that's the conversation we should drive. because if we try to tell them to change their cultural norms, they will rebel just as we rebuild and just as the generation before us we belt. >> afternoon everyone. my name is renée and i'm a member of zeta phi beta here in washington, d.c. and also to my work, i work with members of congress around issues of race, including congressman lewis. this question is particularly for congressman lewis and for dr. samad, but really anyone can answer. a part of th the power of the mh on washington and a lot of the organized direct action of the civil rights movement was that it was accompanied by a specific act of governors, of politicians and other president at the time. so my question, to do of you but to the whole panel is, what would be the two or three specific asks, that if we were
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better organized we would prevent -- present to president obama in order to ship some of our circumstances. >> i would like to defer to the legend last night. >> the only thing i would say is politicians can count. they can count. they have become very sophisticated in this day of social media. they can count votes. they can count people. president kennedy, when we met with him, he didn't like the idea of a march. he didn't like it. when mr. randolph said, you said if you bring a list of the washington the violence and disorder. he didn't like. he started moving and twisting in his chair. and mr. randolph been -- didn't back down. he said, mr. president, this would be an orderly peaceful nonviolent protest. we went on and we organize, we mobilized, and he was thinking about the next election. he didn't want to lose. but at the same time, the same
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time he saw all these folks. it was not just black folks. there were white folks. there were asian americans. hispanics. and they came from all over america. you look at some of those still photographs, there were church people from almost every state. they were from maine and rhode island, wyoming, idaho and nevada. the people were vacationing not just to present the members of congress to act, and had to do something. -- petitioning. so the president was assassinated, and when lyndon johnson became president, he said i'm going to carry out the program for president kennedy.
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we can pass the civil rights legislation. he told his friend, the senator from georgia, he said dick, i know you're my friend. we are buddies, but don't get in my way. when lyndon johnson put those big hands on someone, and put his arm on your shoulder, and like he told wallace, he said i won't use the word he used, but he said don't you, you know -- [laughter] little george, don't you mess with me. and little george came back to alabama in 1965 and didn't say a word. lyndon johnson was prepared to act. after we passed the civil rights act of 1964, and dr. king received a nobel peace prize, he came back to washington, met with lyndon johnson and told the president, we need a voter rights act. and lyndon johnson the, dr.
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king, we don't have the votes in congress to pass the voting rights act. we just passed the civil rights act. he said, why don't you make me do it? we created the climate, the environment, and congress acted. the president responded. and that's what we must do today. we have all these strange politicians in the congress today. and they won't listen. a group of birds really. when i was young, as some of you members of the fraternity have heard me say, is hankered me say it many, many times can i use to talk to the chicken stick i preached to the chickens when i was a boy. and i said those chickens listen to me. they were a little more productive. we've got to get people, we've got to get folks in power to listen. and to say yes, when they may have a desire to say no.
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that was the power of the march on washington, the numbers to they said it was 250,000 i think there was many more. i think is one of the greatest undercounts of all time, the numbers. and the members of congress, they are going to be watching tomorrow. they may be at home. they're going to be watching and they will be listening. >> my name is alexander brown. in birmingham, alabama, in 1963 in selma with john lewis and bernard lafayette, the whole summer of 1963 working with sncc. 1963, when we came here to washington for the march on washington, the most exciting time, exciting thing that happened in my life at that particular point. there were a number things going on. we needed jobs. we needed civil rights. we needed voting rights.
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we were, those were our concerns at that particular time. and i'm a kid who grew up in birmingham, and i'm and emmett till kid. my grandma protected me because of emmett till. you know what they would do to you, boy. and so, you know, so here we are 50 years later and a back and just as excited as i was. for a lot of different reasons. one, i made it 50 years. [laughter] >> that's right. >> able to come on my own. you know, i was a we'll dinner nothing like that. but here we are. you know, it was emmett till then and now it's trayvon. and we still need jobs and we still need equity, and we need voting rights. so many of the issues are the same. but out of that time, between the church, and you mentioned
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media, the radio. birmingham, alabama, [inaudible] was on that radio every morning telling us where to go. we're going to make here today. were going to march from here today. and the word was out. so media played a role in that. i was in the 10th grade when i came here the last time, and i have a doctorate degree now and i've retired, a career from teaching in the university. so out of that, two things i want to say. president, send us social -- send us a mandate down from the grand chapter and tell us what, point us in a direction and send it out and let us go out and do it. i've been doing stuff with the fraternity and working with the
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zeta's for years and he's. so send us out something to do. give us some direction. secondly, i want to mention is, in 1963 our kids, when black boys are coming out of high school, the folks on the local board were there to give us our -- we were conscripted to the army. and the local board just ripped our families apart. took our youngsters and send them off to vietnam. and now, it's not the local board anymore, but it's the courthouse we are sending our kids off to prison. part of the mandate that i'm going to ask for is what of it going to do with that great mass of people who are incarcerated, who are coming out of the prison, and having nothing to do?
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and how are we going to help them? and i think that that's a focus because that's a lot of people that we can conscripted to do things that will be positive in the community. >> let me respond to what he said. the two things i would like to see the president do come and certainly the attorney general. i want them to stand fast, steadfast, certainly at the black congressional caucus on fighting every one of these states with their voter suppression laws. he's got to stand fast on the. i think he will, but stand fast on that and make sure that these laws are invalidated. the other thing i would like to see, first of all, crime has been politicized. black people and black youth do not commit the most crimes. they commit certain crimes that are associated with people of a certain economic level. that is, street crimes and this type of thing.
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think about the great crimes that have been committed on wall street, and are still being committed. who went to jail when this country's economic system was almost wrecked? sure, we have made off to go to jail, but there were many more who committed these kinds of crimes. so who commit the crimes commit economic crimes that has the most detrimental effect on all of us? they are not black youth. so when the attorney general made the state income and i certainly hope he follows through on it, a lot of people are in prison today, and maybe you can cut the population in half if the black youth who are in prison have committed the same crime with reference to drugs as white youth have, the fbi has said black people don't use anymore drugs in any greater proportion than do white people. but 85% of the people in prison for drug offenses are black.
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so when we start having equity and stop the politicization of crime, that will go a long ways to cutting the prison population in half. >> dr. miles, i would like to follow this a. we should have brushed past this issue because this is the number one social issue in america today, which is prison overcrowding and prison realignment. and prison the alignment. now, the supreme court has made california, california has 181,000 people locked up, and the only have 80,000 prison beds. california is choosing to do is to try to stop the courts so they can build more prisons so they don't let them out, which is to feed the prison and thus a complex but in the meantime they've released just this year 14,000 prisoners. and you know what the biggest problem is? there are some communities that
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know that these prisoners are being released and won't let them come into their communities. so guess who's communities that are coming into? right. and then with these convictions they can't get work because particularly most of the government jobs, most of the local city and county jobs require you to disclose a conviction. and so you see a perpetual unemployment that is not reflected in the numbers that causes a recidivism that causes them to go back. and until we arrested some of that, yeah, there's going to be a problem. i agree with brother thomas. there are so many of them who have been locked up or don't deserve to be locked up, but now because they have a strike or two, they will never be able to work. and so then they become victims of the system. and we perpetuate it by not wanting them to criminalizing are politicizing the criminality
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and making them disproportionately the victims by saying no, we don't want them in our neighborhoods. we don't want them living next door to us. can't work for me. >> thank you for this opportunity. my name is thomas and i'm from baton rouge, louisiana. you know, and i'm sitting here and i'm taking in a lot of the discussion. of course, i'm not necessarily as young as i look, but i've been around the pool of law. in fact, for a number of years we dealt with civil rights litigation in the state of louisiana, and as i sit here and look at the audience, and we're talking about what can we do today, the first thing we need to do is get young people here. you know, most of us who are sitting in this room are old enough to recognize what transpired. and we talk about social media and how do we get young people
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involved. we can't do anything, congressman lewis, if we don't have young people here at the table. let me tell you why. those of you who are not familiar to many of the laws that we have put in place today have actually boxed us in, as a community. you see right now, if you notice the election of congressman throughout the country, it happened because we created this multimember districts. a lot of which we can't change today, because we don't have the parents of voting in those areas to do it, particularly where our state's control how you're going to put people in place for purposes of getting them elected. here's the answer. the answer is we have to get our young people energized and evolves -- and fall. if we don't we are not going to move. we're going to be right here 50 more years from now having the same discussion.
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we can talk about social media all we want to, but we have to learn how to take it and use it to get our young people involved in it. because that's the way to communicate. you know, so, and the question, when i think about this because we know what just happened with the supreme court on section five, and those of you who are not familiar, you know, this is taking us down the road that is going to be very difficult to overcome. if we don't get some people in place because we are leaving it to those states to make those determinations of how we identify those individuals who are going to vote and who are going to make decisions. ..
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>> who are ready to vote, i think it could make a difference. so my question i always oaz to -- pose to a panel is what is your suggestion on what we can do to get those individuals that we talk about who we know have to use social media to get involved in these conversations so that we can have the conversation with them and not with us? >> well, let me say this, the first thing we have to do is become proto efficient at it. -- proficient at it. i don't want to ask how many people in here tweet and how many people in here facebook, but it's not enough of us, you know? my students crack up at east los angeles college when i write my
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twitter handle on the board, because they think i'm a dinosaur. but i tell them i have more followers than you, you know? [laughter] and they follow me, and they stay up on my commentaries and those types of things, buy my books. i think we could use this as a teaching moment, a reciprocal moment, brother thomas. we could teach them about a movement that happened 50 years ago whether it's through a history book or whether it's through oral conversations or oral histories. and they can teach us the technology. and we can make an agreement to stay linked through the technology where we can mobilize them and teach them at the same time. i think that that is a first step. >> i, my question kind of couples on that. i'm, my name is delnay gray, i'm president of delta zeta zeta
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chapter here. i was first african-american counsel for our first african-american senator here in the united states. so i'm familiar with politics, i've worked in politics for quite some time now, and i guess my problem is i also work in, as a professor at the university of maryland college park currently. my background is, i'm from california, my parents are, basically, you know, uneducated. i'm first generation college. and we, because of that, because our parents were not educated, they motivated us to gain the education that we're talking about here. and i'm finding that at this level or at least in this community -- i don't know if it's widespread, but in the maryland/d.c. area the young people aren't as motivated to gain that education. you give them opportunities. i have connections where they can go to college if they're an
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african-american male that is qualified. i can get them full rides to harvard university and various universities, but i'm finding that they're not motivated to take on those challenges and to seek out those opportunities. so i'm trying to find out how do we motivate our children at this stage? because, like you said, congressman lewis was motivated, all these young people were motivated to do what they did. the movement was based upon a motivation to change. and i find that the children now are kind of more, it's a laissez-faire attitude about, you know, life and jobs and opportunities. and i'm trying to figure out what can we do to motivate them to move forward and take on some of the opportunities that are out there for them even though they tend to not take advantage of it now? >> before we answer that, let me say this. in the essence of time, i'm
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going to ask that no one else go to the mic. we're going to try to get through these two questions, if you would keep it brief, but we do have some other things to do before we leave today. >> you know, i'm going to just share with you, and i think it's because i work in media that i'm very sensitive to these issues. but i take you back to post-world war ii germany. hitler turned a whole nation crazy through propaganda. turned a whole nation crazy by poisoning books, movies, the school system and giving them one line of thought. and it turned a whole nation crazy. well, same thing has really happened with our young people today. through our music and our movies and all of the things that they
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are attacked by, it's turned our young people apathetic. and that's where great mentoring and role modeling comes in to play. because when you're hit with music that says that everything that you do is wrong and everything that you do is negative, somewhere along the line your mind follows what you hear. so it takes us as those that have had the opportunity to get an education to, as i always like to say, reach back and pick somebody else up. and i think that as organizations, that's what we have to place our focus on. and brother thomas who spoke earlier, he leads our effort with our sigma betas, our youth auxiliary. and that's what he's always saying, we've got to lift these young people. because if we leave them to their own devices, that
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propaganda that is meant to hold them back will continue to hold them back. >> hey, family. i'm a teacher in brooklyn and at the high school for global citizenship, and i teach history. and i am a proud virginia state university graduate, yes, i am. oh, my question is really all about where's the voice of the african? because this march on washington happened 50 years ago, and the african union just celebrated 50 years also. and i know that a lot of decolonization was happening in africa around the same time that the march on washington was going on. and also those leaders went to lincoln university, so these african leaders, they were inspired by the civil rights movement that was happening here in the united states of america. so my question is where's the voice of africa, and how can we headache this movement more global? -- make this movement more global? every time we look at the icc,
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it's always an african leader that's being charged with these acts where they have committed genocide, but we never hear about european leaders that are doing the same thing. it's abroad. so how do we bridge that gap between africaen in and -- africans, so that our international status as a sorority, fraternity, how can we make ourselves really international in our efforts more so than just by saying we're international because we have chapters everywhere? [laughter] >> be all right. well, let's say this, and maybe congressman lewis can offer some historical perspective. at the time that the march on washington occurred in 1963, there were several countries that were gaining their
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independence, and the actual fear was that africans were going to get their freedom before the negro in america. that was the dominant conversation. many people should also remember that on the eve of the march on washington in 1963, august 27th, 1963, was the night that boyce died. and roy wilkens fed on august 28th, 1963, that if you really wanted to know the condition of america and the state that the negro was in, all you had to do was read duboise' "the soul of black folks" which was published in 1903, and that it was still applicable in 963. 1963. now, if you want to know the state of african nations in 2013, okay, they have gone through much of the same. brother thomas earlier talked
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about the whole agent provocateur politic where that politic is reemerging both in africa and in the african-american community. we see the agent provocateur in los angeles. we see the agent provocateur in chicago. that violence in chicago is not happenstance, okay? and so we do not have the vehicles which to flush them out as we once did because of our disunification. but we have to begin to ask those questions, okay? as to how do we begin to link the african-american and the african, particularly because africa is really the last space for development, and china's there. china is developing africa. and chinese money is there. so how do we play in that space. >> i just -- thank you, brother, for giving me a way to come in here.
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i remember when i was working on my speech for the march on washington, i was reading a copy of new york times, and i saw a group of black women in southern africa carrying signs. and those signs said one man, one vote. so in my march on washington speech, the proposed speech, i tried to say something like one man, one vote is the african cry. it is ours too. it must be ours. and then after the march on washington was over -- well, even before that. i was a student at fisk. we had a lot of african students. and they would tease us in the cafeteria in the student union. they had, they were saying something like the whole of africa will be free, and we can't even get a soda and a hamburger. that's what they were saying.
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and there was a slogan free by '63 because it was the 100th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. free by '63. and harry belafonte made arrangement for 13 young people in he's to travel to -- in to travel to africa -- in mississippi to travel in africa. and we went to africa in september 1964 to guinea, west africa. and we stayed there. julian bond was on the trip, bob moses of the mississippi summer project and others as the guests of the president of guinea. and then there was a young man who was a good friend of mine, he became the son-in-law of dr. kenneth clark, the social
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psychologist, and helped thurgood marshall in developing the case for the supreme court decision of 1954. we got additional money, and we traveled to other parts of africa. and all over africa people were asking, they knew something about the student nonviolent coordinating committee with the different liberation groups. they wanted to know our relationship with malcolm. what is your relationship with malcolm? it so happened we arrived in guinea at the new stanley hotel in nairobi, and we had missed our flight. we were going down to zambia for the independence celebration. and malcolm was there. and so two mornings in a a row we had breakfast with him. and i think we have changed him, he helped change us.
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and he was saying in effect if the people back in the states don't listen to you all, then they're going to have to deal with me. and we came back, the selma movement developed, and malcolm came to selma to the brown chapel church, the church that we left from on march 7, 1965, that became bloody sunday. he came down on the 14th of february. and dr. king and the rest of us was in jail. and they refused to let malcolm come to the jail to visit us. and he spoke to a group of high school and college students at church with mrs. king. so the seem in africa -- so the people in africa and even malcolm were saying that the civil rights movement had a tremendous influence on him. and then i go to south africa in
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'94 and meet nelson mandela, and he said i'm -- i know all about you. i know all about the movement. i followed it. i read about it. i read dr. king's speech. so what was happening in africa and what was happening here in america. and i think we need that link. but we have a president, barack obama, 50 years later who's a direct link with africa. he asked me the other day what should he say on wednesday. i said, mr. president, you're -- your presence is a speech unto itself. so we are there. the problem i have more and
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more, i see all of our young people with our passion. we had passion. and i tell young people in atlanta, i says, why don't you go down to the king center? ask your parents to take you there. i tell students, i though you want to go down to florida, you want to have a lot of fun, you want to go here and there. why don't you organize a field trip to montgomery. go the rosa parks museum. go into dr. king's home. go and visit that greyhound bus station where we were beaten. get on a bus or just go with your family and visit a church that was bombed where the four little girls was killed. go and walk through that park where they used the dogs and fire hoses. maybe you'll learn something. maybe you will be inspired to get out there and tight and you should. and that's -- and fight and push. and that's what we need today in our young people, to fight and push. >> good afternoon, distinguished panel.
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a short while ago someone mentioned the fact that there are laws on the books that keep us in our present situation. well, my question is relates to the 13th amendment. and correct me if i'm wrong, but slavery has not been abolished completely. and i believe it's the 13th amendment that still keeps slavely on the book -- slavery on the book that is helping to feed the prison industrial complex. if anyone on the panel can address that, please? >> you're correct. slavery has not been abolished, because the 13th amendment says that slavery is prohibited except for punishment of a crime in which the purpose has been dually convicted. that's -- duly convicted. that's known as a caveat, you know? if the person next to you tells you that they love you except when they're with the person on the other side of you, okay? so you just have to understand
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that all society has done is found a way to use prison as a form of social control. that's all they've dope. that's all they've done. >> we don't have any more questions, i was going to yield to brother carter to see what he was going to say. >> yeah, real quickly. brother ron carter, and i'm hearing a lot of discussion about social media. and social media's good and it's bad. because the brothers don't have to be in this room to be engaged in social media. we're monitoring social media, and the brothers are on social media. there's a picture that was just posted of brother lewis about ten seconds ago. so the brothers are talking on social media about what's taking place here. they know we're on c san, we're getting calls about -- not calls, but posts about what's taking place on c-span. so the brothers are engaged, because we did can engage them by putting out a hashtag for
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this event, and everything we're doing is on social media. but that's the thing with social media, you don't have to be present. >> i know we're under a time constraint, but i would like for each of the panelists to wrap up in two minutes, if possible, by just giving us your opinion on the importance of this round table, and even broader than that, what's going to take place tomorrow with the march? what is the cig anywhere cannes of the march -- significance of the march on washington 50 years later? we'll start with brother samad and finish with congressman lewis. >> i believe that tomorrow we should use the 50th anniversary of the march on washington as a teaching moment to help people understand the full context as to what the march was about. the march was about pushing the government for jobs and freedom. they didn't can come here just to speak. the march was not just about dr. king. we have to use this as a teaching moment to help them
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remember the name of a. phillip randolph and to remember the name of bayard rustin and john lewis and the other people who were there who helped make the march what it was. and the relationship that it forged with the president of the united states in the aftermath who was skeptical about such an endeavor. and then we have to go back and begin teaching those who really have become disconnected from what it means to be activist. i think that that's what we use the march tomorrow for. >> thank you. on tomorrow i feel that this march should be one where we can go back to our organizations and our communities to inform them that we were here, that we worked together and that we're ready to move forward. it should be with an opportunity for us to be energized to take this march, the anniversary, to the next level.
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we just don't want to be here just because we wanted to be another name in history. but we want to be able to make a difference by being at this march. so as i will go back to the sorority, i will make sure that we can english the goals that will be -- accomplish the goals that will be set tomorrow from the speakers that we hear, from president obama, to make sure that we don't just end there and go back home and pretend that i was there, i was there. but there's more to just being there. there's more to your physical presence. it's what you can take back to the community. and it's time for us to join together and make a difference. and i am hoping that is what each member participating tomorrow will take back, and that's that energy, that drive that we did it, we can do it, we have the power, we have the people in charge, and now it is time to make sure that their dreams become a reality. >> i want to finish off as i
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started, and i started by thanking mr. hank thomas and congressman john lewis for the sacrifices they made so that we could be be. and, again, i thank you for that. we love you, and we appreciate everything that you've done. and when i've been in office as the international president of cig that for a little -- sigma for a little over a month, and the first initiative that i put on the table for our membership when i became president was that we would be represented at the march on washington not just because it's a celebration or a commemoration, but because it's a continuation of what we should be standing for. when we think about a.m. -- a. phillip randolph, james foreman, jose williams, john lewis, all members of phi beta sigma pa who
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participated in that initial march in the civil rights movement, when we think about the reverend al sharpton who's an honorary member of our organization who's working to put this whole thing together with martin luther king iii, how could phi beta sigma not be represented? so we have buses coming from all across the country. they're on the road right now to converge in washington, d.c., and i dare somebody to tell me that this was not an investment we should have made to be here on this weekend for this historic occasion to continue our march and our effort. but i'll share this. when i found out we were coming or when we decided we were going to come, i was going to bring hi boys and my family, and we were going to be here and, you know, be a part of the crowd. and then when i got the word from the national action network that i would actually have the opportunity to speak on the program tomorrow, you know, i was more excited about bringing my boys and giving them this
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education. but, you know, god has a way of laughing at the mans of men. -- atbe the plans of men. and one of the stalwart, strong members of our church passed away this week, sister gloria redd, at our church. and i struggled, congressman, with whether or not i should be at that funeral tomorrow for somebody who's done so much for our church and for the work of the lord or whether i should be here at this march. and i went and i talked to my father who was a part of the movement. and he said, oh, no, you get on that train, and you go to the march. because this is about talking to another generation of men and women. and encouraging them to keep on keeping on. in spite of all that obstacles that they think they're facing. when they understand the history and they understand our present condition and how they can
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impact our future, there was no other mace for us to be. place for us to be. so tomorrow is a continuation. it's not a celebration, because we got some serious work to do. and the work that you've done, mr. thomas and congressman lewis, shall not be in vain. [applause] >> the new cry tomorrow should be fighting voter suppression with the same fervor, with the same energy, passion and dedication that we had 50 years ago when we were fighting for the right to vote. the second cry should be stopping the mass incarceration of young black males. it has a detrimental effect on building future famils, or young black women who are educated are
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having difficulty finding suitable mates to marry was they're in prison, and they're in prison for doing some of the same thing that white males are in prison for doing. whether it's first-time drug offense that they get a pass on, and black males get sent to prison, and black women get sent to prison. and the second, the law under the aegis of the law that took trayvon martin's life, this stand your ground laws that have been instituted in the states. and congressman lewis, i'm sure that black congressional congress will be tighting hard for these -- fighting hard for these things. so fighting voter suppression and stopping the prison industrial complex and the mass incarceration of black hen. of black men. >> thank you very, very much. it's been very moving for me 50 years later.
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i happen to believe not simply because of what happened in selma, but because of just growing up in a place and my own involvement that the vote is precious. it's almost sacred. it is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society. and people trying to take it away from us. they didn't want us to have it. you know, a few years ago we had the vote. we elected people to many of the southern state legislatures, and they were ran out. but we're not going back. we've come too far. so i agree with my friend hank thomas. trayvon martin reminded me of
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what happened to emmett till. i was 15 years old in 1955. i was working in the cornfield. i heard about what happened to emmett till, and i was so afraid that it could happen to some of my nephews who lived in buffalo, new york, and they would come home during the summer the visit. and there's been so much pain and so much suffering and hurt if our communities because of what happened. and we have to do something about the criminal justice system. and we got to communicate. one of my problems, and i'm going to get in trouble, but it's good trouble and necessary trouble, i know social media is important, and it's good. we use it. but we don't talk to each other enough. we don't engage in dialogue.
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we isolate ourselves. we just do all of this and all of this. [laughter] and we, we don't -- i go to meetings, i go to a meeting with some of my staff people, even go to church with them and look at the kid, the boy, and he's over there. i say, you're in church. why don't you pay anticipation. [laughter] pay attention. but we immediate to write it down -- we need to write it down. during the sit-ins we had the dos and don'ts. do sit up straight. i hope the march will serve, yes, as a teaching lesson, but be a source of inspiration and give us our marching order for the next 50 years or for many years to come to get out there. and as frederick douglass addressed it, agitate, agitate,
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agitate until we get what we want and what we need. and on that, i yield back my time. [laughter] [applause] >> let me close by saying a couple of things. one, i want to thank the panelists. it's important to recognize when you're standing among giants, and i do recognize that today i've had an opportunity to stand among giants, and i thank you for taking time from your schedule to come and be a part and to share. for the brothers of phi beta sigma and zeta phi beta, i would say the director of social for zeta phi beta, she and i had a wonderful lunch today, a working lunch. and hopefully, as we take the things that were said today and that is going to come in from the future, you're going to see new heights for both organizations in the area of social interaction. i look forward to working with
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her. thirdly, i would like to ask that on your way out we have books, we have the history book for phi beta sigma fraternity. we want to make sure that every brother get a copy or have a copy of that book. and you have a distinct privilege today, because our past presidents are here, and you can get a signed, autographed copy of that history book on your way out. the other book that we have, congressman lewis, did you bring your book with you today? >> [inaudible] >> okay, thank you. well, we want to make sure we plug those as well. >> i will mention my book. [inaudible] and today it made "the new york times" -- >> all all right! [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> we're at a special place in phi beta sigma history. we're standing on 99 years, just ready to go over the cusp for that 100. and with us today we have some outstanding individuals who have led our organization. and we can't leave without at least acknowledging those individuals. so would the past presidents of phi beta sigma fraternity please stand. [applause] i was going to give your names, but -- [laughter] the honorable arthur thomas, honorable peter adams, honorable paul griffith, honorable -- [inaudible] womack. [applause] i've -- i'll finish with a brief family story. one, as i was getting to know brother thomas today a little bit better, i shared with him
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about my family's involvement in civil rights which was we weren't trailblazer or anything like that, but some of these freedom riders who was in mississippi got in trouble. we've always had one distinct privilege being country people, we own our own -- we're on our own. my grandfather thought of that. and there was three young people that needed to get out of mississippi. and as a result, they brought them out to the farm. and what my, what my father and his brothers did, they put up a cow gap. many of you don't know what that is. but what it meant was that the people that were coming to look for the young men, i was -- i had to get out of the car if they were going to come on the property. they had to get out of the car to open the gap. and i remember my father saying to his brother, he said but if they get out, they won't ever get back in. because they were laying in the field, cotton fields and the cornfield waiting on 'em. and i think that was one of the
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scaredest nights of my life as a 6-year-old or a 5-year-old, looking at that. but i tell you the story so that you know that each one can do something. you don't have to be a major trailblazer, but each one of us can do manager. i -- can do something. i appreciate you, i thank you for coming, i thank you for being a part of this program, and i look forward to seeing each of you on tomorrow. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> booktv in prime time continues this week.
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tonight after "the communicators," we'll bring you encore programs of "after words." at 8:30 be p.m. eastern we begin with zucchini crawford talking about her book, "captive audience," in which she argues how the u.s. has lost its competitive advantage. that's followed by carl hart who discusses his memoir on drug abuse in "high price." finish with christian carroll who gives his perspective on when current world problems began to take shape in "strange rebels: 1979 and the birth of the 20th century." booktv in prime time airs through the first week of september at 8:30 bep.m. eastern on mondays and at 8 p.m. the rest of the week here on c-span2. >> i've been writing for years now. the pc has peaked. and the proof has finally
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arrived in the last year or so where you've seen pc sales actually falling dramatically, in the double digits, five quarters in a row. and before that it had been quite flat. some of this had to do with the economic meltdown around the developed world and really the whole world over the last four or five years, but each as economies have -- even as economies have recovered, the pc has peaked. when i say it's peaked, i don't mean it's done, i don't mean people are going to throw their pc away, i don't mean that tablets and smartphones, for instance, can replace everything a laptop can do. but what's happening is that there are enough daily scenarios for which people used to grab
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their laptop that are more conveniently done now on a tablet. >> "the wall street journal"'s walt mossberg looks at the future of personal technology in the first of a two-part interview tonight on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2. >> oklahoma senator tom coburn recently said that president obama has come, quote, perilously close to impeachable offenses. he made these remarks at a recent town hall meeting in muskogee, oklahoma, where he heard questions from his constituents on a range of issues. among them, the federal health care law, privacy concerns, government accountability and second amendment gun rights. this town hall runs about an hour and ten minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> you good? good afternoon. we're on time. welcome. happy to have you here.
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good to visit with you. this is -- i'll be a little slow this evening, this is the fifth one of these i've done today, so bear with me. it drags you down more than you think. i won't spend a lot of time talking, but i do want to hear from you. there's a lot of concerns in our country, not any of them unsolvable. but there's still, nevertheless, big and problematic. if i were to assess where we were as a country today, i would say that the constitutional republic that we have is at risk for the very things that our founders and forefathers talked about. the abandonment of constitutional principles, especially the enumerated powers, has created situations in which we find ourselves leaving a legacy to our children
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that i certainly can't be proud of, and i know most of you will not be proud of. our unfunded liabilities right now are $126 trillion when you add them all up. that includes the $17 trillion that we owe, plus the rest of the unfunded liabilities. the total net worth of the united states, all the assets that the whole country has together, is $84 trillion. so, essentially, the game's up. and the problem is, is we don't have any visionary leadership in our country in either party that will stand up and talk about what the real principles and problems are. we have undermined self-reliance in the name of being charitable. we have abdicated personal responsibility in the name of
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being fair. and we are following in the footsteps of what every historian has noticed about every constitutional republic, is they don't last. and the reason they don't last is because we concentrate power at the central government and end up giving away freedom and create fiscal policies that undermine the very economy that supports the growth and the vibrancy of our country. i think they're all solvable. the questions i ask, ask privately and publicly, is why are we not addressing these problems in the congress? and i hear often from oklahomaes about the fact that you all need to work together. i have an observation on that. we will have an $800 billion
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deficit this year. congress approved that. i'd say we're working together way too well. [laughter] we have agencies that are rife with fraud and programs that are rife with fraud that congress has not done anything -- they've agreed not to do anything about it. i think we're working too well together. our biggest problem, in my estimation, is not our country and not our people, it's the elitism that comes from the career politics that dominates our congress and our country. and i was asked today -- [applause] a, and i get asked it a lot, a very sincere individual, well, what do we do about it? what do we do? >> throw 'em out. shut 'em down. >> throw 'em out doesn't work unless you replace them with
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people that are different. you know, 70% of the senate, essentially, has never had a job out of career politics. so they are wonderful people. i mean, i get along great with dick durbin. i like him as an individual. our philosophies are totally different. he means well. as well as many of the other people that promote what i would consider policies that will undermine our future liberties. the thing is they lack a frame of reference from exeerns in the world -- experiencing the world like our farmer that's sitting over here that knows, like our insurance agents that are here, like our policemen who are here, like other people who are here who have actually done something with their lives outside of elected politics. so it doesn't do any good to throw them all out, and i've been convinced in the last week or so, i've read a book called "the liberty amendments."
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[applause] and i just have to tell you i used to have a greet fear of a constitutional convention. i have a great fear now of not having one. three-quarters of the states would have to approve anything that was approved through that. so i don't think there's a lot of danger to our republic from us taking back control from washington. honoring the tenth amendment. end happening -- enhancing federalism and recreating a sense of personal responsibility and accountability not only at the individual level, but at the city level and at the state level. i had a fire chief get upset with he today because i don't see any role in the federal government, according to the constitution, for us to be buying fire engines for cities and states. and the danger with that is you become addicted to the largess of the federal government who says they're giving you
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something, but they're actually stealing it from your children and grandchildren. and so, again, i will emphasize i don't think we have problems we can't solve. we lack leaders who are thinking long term and understand what makes our country great or has made our country great is the very fact that we enhance personal responsibility, we enhance hard work. we don't condition dependency more so than what is needed rather than to create an environment where you don't have to help yourself. so i'm thankful that each of you are here today. we've had big turnouts at town hall meetings, and we're actually talking to the choir. you wouldn't be here unless you were actually concerned, had an interest in it. so i want to thank you for being here. and what we're going to do is do questions, and i'll try to answer to the best of my
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ability. we have one rule, is we don't let go of the microphone. i learned a long time ago if i let go of the microphone, it may be 0 minutes before -- 20 minutes before i get it back. and for this large -- i'll go as long as y'all want to be here. almost as long as you want to be here, until my blood sugar gets so low until i eat some my place ribs. that budget a commercial, that's just my favorite place to eat in town. so who wants to ask the first question? we've got a microphone right up here, thommy? -- tommy? >> i appreciate your being here. if it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have any senator at a town hall meeting. you touched on the topic i wanted to hear about, personal responsibility. there's no accountability in the government, okay? you come up with all these great research papers on fraud and
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waste. like you said, nothing happens. the constitution doesn't seem to matter anymore. obama is just, well, i can't work with him, so i'm going to do it the way. and nobody seems to object. i mean, benghazi is a disgrace. the only people punished were the -- >> with i am going to make you get to a question, because if we go at this rate, we'll only have ten questions asked. >> my point is let's not talk out three years with the next president, what are we going to do in the next 12 months to correct the course, and are you going to go on -- [inaudible] >> well, i would if i was invited. right now i'm kind of out of favor with the levin show because i actually don't think it's a smart strategy to shut down the government as a method of defending obamacare. i think if you want to do it, do it on the debt limit, don't do it on shutting down the government because our economy's so precarious right now, and
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shutting down the government won't stop obamacare one iota. it'll continue to roll out. we're limited, and it's hard to -- a couple of points i'd make is republicans control the house of representatives. that's one-sixth of the total government. we don't control the presidency, we don't control the senate, and we have-- according to recent court decisions -- very little influence on the court. the second point is when they do those things, as a u.s. senator, i don't have standing in a court of law. so, you know, i've got letters out right now chastising the justice d., asking them why they have not cooperated with the government accountability office. by law they have the cooperate. except this add mrtle's -- administration's refusing to do so on multiple events across multiple agencies.
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so i think in a lot of ways they're lawless in terms of their behavior to congress. but the leadership in the congress, especially the senate, is designed for short-term political gain, not designed to solve the problems of our country. and the reason i can say that is with those numbers i just bay you in terms of our unfunded liabilities, you would think we would be greatsing those issues -- addressing those issues, like medicare. $100 billion a year fraud in medicare, and i've got three separate bills. i can't get 'em up. can't get 'em considered. i mean, they'd actually have some -- i actually have a little bit of knowledge on the medical side about health insurance and medicare. so i guess the point is, is my desire is great, my ability to continue to push boulders up an ice floe is limited because there's not the votes there to help me. we've got great people.
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you know, i love mike lee. we differ on the shutdown strategy. he's a great patriot. guys like him, we've got 20 or 30 that'll do it. but that's not enough. and until you change who's there, you're not going to change it. so i don't have a great answer for you. what i'm going to do is keep fighting, keep oversighting, keep putting out reports. nobody's offered as many amendments on the senate floor as i have. i've held more bills, more appointments than almost anybody else there. because my first rulebook is the u.s. constitution. it's not the republican party, it's the u.s. constitution. and so we'll keep fighting. but remember, the press isn't balanced in this country. there is a bias. a hard leftward bias in the press. so even when we put it out there
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and it makes common sense and it's a smart thing to do, it never gets covered. >> now we've got al-jazeera. >> yeah. all right, next one. >> thank you for being here today. >> you're welcome. >> last week at representative -- [inaudible] it was the first time i've been out to one of these, and this is the first time i've been here to hear you. i am very proud of what you do for our state, how you represent us. i just wish there were a hundred like you. i'm reminded, because i've been around a few years, when strom thurmond said a million here, a million there, pretty soon we're talking about some real money. i wish those days were still here where we were talking about a million here, a million there. the reason i'm pressing this is now we're talking about billions, and we're getting desensitized about money, where it goes and what not. we've got a debt limit coming up
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next month -- actually, in october -- and i'm reminded that we pay our bills and that this is not to raise money to spend, it's to pay what we've already spent. that's the whole point. when are you going to quit spending so we don't have to keep raising the debt limit to pay our bills? that's the problem as i see it. that's just a basic -- >> so your question is -- >> why do we keep letting them spend our money? where does that come from? i thought congress was the one that allocated money. how do they get all this billions of dollars to give away? we've got serious problems in this country that that money could go for. >> yeah. well, the answer, first of all, the federal budget under the johnson administration was unified, so you confuse social security excess as monies which started running a deficit about
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five, six years ago with everything else. so there's mandatory spending which congress doesn't appropriate. and it's the vast majority of spending that we spend be every year. that's why shutting down the government over obamacare won't stop obamacare, because 85% of it is mandatory spending. there is some good news on that front. i mean, over the last two years we've spent about $160 billion less on discretionary programs than we did the two years before that. so that's the first time that's happened since the korean war. okay? we did it once in 1996 when we did a rescission package when i wasn't in the congress. which, ultimately, resulted in us balancing the budget because the extrapolation of that $64 billion came out to be about $120, $13 to 0 billion a year, so it was a big deal. this is a bad way of doing it, a
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sequester, but it's a whole lot better than not doing it at all. a sequester's like when your wife asks you to pick the weeds out of the flower bed, you take the lawn mauver, crank it up -- lawnmower, crank it up and mow everything in the flower bed. that's what we're doing. we put out a whole lot of sequester letters to the administration. remember what we were hearing from the president, how bad sequester's going to be and what was going to be 17 days of furloughs is now down to four on only about 50% of the agencies? necessity is the mother of invention. there is still after the sequester $250 billion of pure fraud, pure waste and pure duplication in the federal government every year. a quarter of a trillion dollars. and we've done nothing about that. so the question is, is where's the leadership to do that? and what i'm telling you, it's not there the. i don't see it. it's not in my party, and it's
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not in the other party. and it's certainly not the president. he thinks we need to be spending more money, not heads. so anyhow, a good portion of that, social security, medicare, medicaid, veterans' benefits that are all mandatory spending that unless we reform those programs, they're going to continue to grow massively. i wished i didn't want get it prepared by -- i didn't get it prepared by today. i'm going to show it tomorrow in hugo and several other places, but i'm going to show the 30-year projections of spending. and the 30-year projections of revenues. and it's totally unsustainable. you know, we're at $17 trillion worth of debt. in ten years we're going to be at 30. >> [inaudible] >> well, i don't know. the question -- that's a great sidebar, whether we'll get there, whether the international community will continue to loan us money or the federal reserve will continue to print money.
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at interest rates. you know, if we were at historical interest rates today for what we've borrowed the last 20-30 years, we'd have another trillion dollars worth of deficit just in interest costs. historically it's about 5.be 8%, and we're paying about 1.5% right now. so instead of $233 billion in interest costs a year, we'd have a trillion dollars in interest costs a year. and that's a trillion dollars that you're not going to pay. your kids are going to pay it. and how they're going to pay it is through a markedly decreased standard of living. the inability to purchase a home, the inability to send their kids to college. that's what's going to happen. and we need to change it. and that's why i said the pretty outlandish statement is that i'm afraid not to have a constitutional convention. i don't think we have time to wait. and i think mark levin has done a great service to this country by raising those issues. now, he's pretty harsh sometimes, but the fact is we
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have real problems, and they need real solutions. and that's one, and nobody else is offering anything that comes close to it. all right. connie? >> welcome home, senator coburn. >> thank you. >> you aware that the bureau of land management office in tulsa, oklahoma, is currently, they're proposing to consolidate it with oklahoma city at a cost to taxpayer, of $2.5 million, and that it's going to take 20 years to recoup those moving costs? >> no, i'm not. i'd love to have the details on it, because we'll ask the questions. if you'll either give that to connie or one of my other staff here, the details on it. look, do you realize that we spend $5 billion a year maintaining buildings that the federal government owns that are empty? and that rather than moving into buildings and buying them, now
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the agencies lease buildings. why is that? because of the stupid accounting rule that says if you buy a building, you have to expense it in the year that you bought it. anybody in here that's ever bought a commercial building knows that you don't write off the building in the first year -- matter of fact, the government won't let you write off the building in the first year. so what we've done is biased our way into leasing buildings. there's no way that the federal government cannot save tremendous amounts of money by owning their own build beings and getting rid of the excess property. and i've been trying to do that for five years. i got a bill that attached the real property reform bill to the postal reform be bill. i have an agreement with tom carper, we're not taking it out. we're going to reform real property, the way it's handled by the federal government and save a ton of money. $4, $5, $6 billion a year. >> i believe it was john locke that said the purpose of government is to protect private
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property, and when i look at what's going on now, the irs is collecting all our financial data. pretty soon you're going to be collecting all our health care data. they're collecting our e-mail, all our web access and with common core they're going to be using our kids to collect family data that's very personal. plus, we don't get a salary til the government takes their percentage. freddie and fannie hold liens on all our homes and 401(k) or ira isn't yours until you pay a 10% penalty or wait forever. so my question is -- >> well, wait a minute, 65's not forever, you know? [laughter] don't put me in that group yet. >> okay, almost forever. [laughter] but anyway, what can the republican party and you as a senator or group of senators do
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to restore our privacy and to stop the progressives from using the tax code to steal the rest of our property? >> i think -- [applause] well, let me state a philosophical point first. we had an election in 2012. republicans didn't do real well, did they? my observation is everybody in the world knows what we're against, but nobody knows what we're for. and when all they hear about is what we're against, they quit listening. and the first thing we need to be is talking about a positive vision of how we restore our country and what it means to you. what does it actually mean if we restore it? what does it mean to your kids? what does it mean as far as personal liberty and your private property? you know, you forgot to mention that all these enrollers for
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obamacare are going to look at every bit of your tax stuff and every bit of your medical stuff. and these are people who haven't had their backgrounds screened, haven't been looked at. you're just going to trust the average person on the street, some of the most personal information you have if, in fact, you want to enroll. and thenyou don't enroll, we're going -- if you don't enroll, we're going to fine you with a, quote, tax our supreme court justice manipulated the the words on. so i think the first thing we have to do is talk about the vision of self-reliance and earned success. you know, that means something different to every one of us. earned success means i'm a great poet or i built a business or i'm a physician or i'm a great carpenter or policeman. but we need to reenhance what it means to with successful. and contrast with what it means to be dependent. i'm going to give a speech -- i've been working on this for six months. my staff, i -- you have a great
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staff in washington. they're not careerists, most of them are young, but they're very, very smart. their average age is probably 40, 35 or 40. we've been researching all the government benefits. and right now if you're a family and you take advantage of every government program that's available, you can receive almost $50,000 without taxes per year on the backs of us. on the backs of us. now, i'm, you know, my faith says i'm to help those that need help. that's not helping. ultimately, that's hurting. and it's hurting everybody. so i would recommend -- i may have done this at a town hall meeting before here. there's a book i believe every concerned citizen ought to read.
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and it's called "the tragedy of american compassion. " it's written by a guy that outlines the history of how america used to help people who need help. and it was highly effective. in terms of turning people's lives around if, in fact, they wanted help to continue. no, sir -- kind of like you discipline your child. i mean, it was a change in behavior. so i think we have a long ways to go in terms of doing that. all these programs are well intentioned but administered in such a way and run in such a way
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that we're not self-reliability. and we need to change that. it's a big deal when it comes to the money that our kids are going to have to pay. who's next? >> thank you, tom. i want to thank you and i want you to know i'm proud of you. i'm proud of every one of our oklahoma representatives. you guys when you talk, i understand what you're saying, and i really appreciate that. i watched mark levin the other night on hannity, and he brought up there's only two ways to solve what's going on in country. one of them's going to be real bloody. and he said the other one is a state convention you just mentioned. is there any conversation going on among the states and as a individual what do we feed to do to get that start -- need to do to get that started? he also made the point it's going to take a while to get it done. >> it is. well, first of all, that wouldn't go through. that would come through your
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state legislature. and so what do you need to do? you need to, first of all, i would recommend you read that book and have a good understanding of the case to be made so you can defend your position. number two is you have to lobby your state legislators because they're the ones that have to make that decision. i don't agree with everything in his book, but i certainly agree with his attempt at a solution where we find neither political party tends to have the courage to stand up and do the things it's supposed to do. i mean, just an example of the fire chief today. i mean, it's plain english in the constitution that fire control and the local community has nothing to do with the federal government. and yet now we've become an entitled class because we've been given these grants since 9/11, and everybody thinks you ought to have more money for your fire department. that's your responsibility. same with your police. you know? education.
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education, somebody mentioned that. we spend $2.6 trillion since the education department was founded, and there's not one parameter in measure of education success that's better, and there's multiple that are worse. thomas jefferson's quote, he's the father of that modern university system. the constitution specifically states the federal government has no business in education. matter of fact, we've made a mockery of it. we send all these requirements and don't allow the local teachers who really love our children, the administrators and the parents to make the decisions that are best for their kids. and consequently, we're not succeeding. today the a.c.t. reported less than 12% of the people taking the a.c.t. this year so far are
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qualified to go to college. that's a disaster. for our country. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. right over here. yeah, yeah. you don't get to hold on to it very long. >> i know. you know me. [laughter] i'm rhonda with the tulsa 9/12 project, and i have a couple of comments that i've made. when you were talking about congress, first of all, i want to thank you for being here and, of course, i wish you would come to tulsa. and then the problems that we have in congress deal with our leadership, and when our leadership won't allow congress to do some of the things and to hear some of the bills that are being heard, it's not so much the good men and women that we have serving in congress as it is people like speaker boehner that will keep things from being heard. you have stated, you know, we've talked about obamacare and, of
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course, the supreme court didn't give us the ruling that we wanted. and in 2012, of course, the elections didn't give us that either. and when you ran last time, you stated that you were the most opposed to obamacare of anyone that could be be. and we reelected you to not only represent us, but to fight for us. and because of that, we need men and women that have courage. we're not looking for excuses. heritage foundation, mark levin, freedomworks all have sound arguments on why obamacare should be te funded. defunded. so my question to you is, have you sat down with any of these a organizations to discuss this so that perhaps your opinion would be changed? and if you have not, would you, please, consider doing so? is. >> i have dinner every tuesday night with jim demint, the head of heritage foundation. i live with mike lee and marco
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rubio, two of the people that are behind this impetus. the claim that because you won't sign a letter you're for amare is utterly ridiculous. i don't disagree we need to get rid of obamacare, i disagree with the tactic. you don't set a strategy out to, in fact, try to accomplish something ignoreing a couple of realistic facts. one is the only way you get rid of obamacare is with 67 votes in the u.s. senate. and two-thirds of the house of representatives. unless obama's just going to roll over and say, oh, i made a mistake, we've got to quit this, and i don't think that's going to happen. that's number one. number two, i'm glad that you raised the issue, because it means you're involved in the future of our country. and i think that's admirable. i think mike lee, marco rubio,
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ted cruz have the purest of intentions. but i think they're dead wrong on tactics. and if you will recall, we had a government shutdown in 1996. and we lost 15 seats in an offyear election when we should have won -- >> [inaudible] >> no, let me -- you're mussing my point. you're missing my point. that's not my excuse for doing it. but my reason for not 'em -- embracing their strategy is i'm 100% convinced it won't work. and let me be explain why. let's say we carry out the full strategy, and the government gets shut down. what do you think is going to happen to the weak-kneed, soft-spined members of the republican conference of which i'm not one? after about three or four weeks, they're going to say, oh, i've got another election, i've got to get reelected, we've got to open this back up. and that's exactly what will happen. so we will have gone through all this exercise, not accomplished
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our goal when, in fact, if we strategically look at it, a better place to do it is on the debt ceiling. you don't impact the economy negatively in the short run, you don't alienate all the federal mows who are disrupted -- employees who are disrupted, who a good portion of them are your neighbors who work hard every day. you don't send a signal that you're way out here and you don't have any idea about what realistic consequences of what you're doing. and finally, you recognize the frailties of career politicians who care more about getting reelected than solving the country's problems. and so -- >> [inaudible] >> it can. it can. >> [inaudible] >> no, it cannot. >> [inaudible] >> i understand, that's what they put out. i've had -- i spent an hour and a half on the phone with senator lee sunday afternoon, you know? he's going to keep going the direction he's going.
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my gray hair is, you know, just eight times longer in a legislative body than his, and my judgment with people having been a physician for 25 years is pretty good. and the fact is, they have a failed strategy. so i don't disagree about getting rid of obamacare. but if you're telling me i'm not a principled person because i don't want to sign a letter that says we should do that, i disagree with you. nobody, nobody -- i offeredbe 300 amendments in committee on obamacare. i led the fight. i made bernie sanders read his bill until he withdrew it, his amendment. my amendment -- which was a common sense way to fix it -- never got on the floor because they knew it'd get over 50 votes which would then make obamacare look fool bish. didn't happen -- foolish. didn't happen. the difference is i don't agree with the tactic. i'm 100% assured it will fail. and so why would i do what i know will fail because a lot of outside interest groups who
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disagree with me and think i should go another way? you elected many me to represent in the u.s. senate the best interests of our country. and that's what i'm doing by refusing to sign the letter. now, let me give you an aside. i've never voted for a continuing resolution. so they'll probably have my vote anyway. but i can't be intellectually dishonest with you and tell you i agree with the strategy, because i believe it absolutely is intellectually dishonest. because setting up hope that we can do something that i'm convinced we can't. we will not accomplish. and so it's great you're here and great you're fighting for that. i just think it's misguided. and so you're not going to change my mind on it. i mean, i've had debates late into the night with marco rubio and mike lee on this, you know? they're on one side, i'm on the other. we're just not going to agree. and so i'm not going to support it, but i'm probably going to vote against the cr, so if it's
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there, i will be their accomplice anyway, because crs are a stupid way to run the federal government. [applause] ..
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i don't think the goal behind common core this show is better. i think probably the implementation is three dangers. but the point is not improving the educational standards of our children, you know, the best way to do that is put parents, teachers and administers back in charge and get the federal government out of it. [applause] >> senator, thank you very much for being our senator and representing oklahomans. for all the years which have invested. i really appreciate that. i'm really concerned that maybe in a generation or less we're going to lose our second amendment rights as americans, as oklahomans, but to defend
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ourselves, our homes. no pun intended to under the gun, what can we do? senator feinstein and senator reid, everyone, i mean, seems like there's no common sense. the east coast, west coast, liberal politics, anyone who owns a gun is a criminal. what can we do? >> let me give you a little reassurance first. i think all the 10 amendments, probably the one you say this is the second amendment. i actually believe that. that's why i voted to proceed debate on the gun bill. i want to have that debate all the time.
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because you can't stand up to the logic, the consistency or the supreme court ruling that have instituted your right to defend yourself. and so i'm not worried that that's -- you know, the ban on assault weapons quote assault weapons that the lowest number it's ever gotten. i feel really good. we have great lobbying organizations that are out to protect gun owners and the national rifle association. it is a lack of knowledge of a lot of people, and i fear of guns. the associate violence with guns as being the guns fault rather than the individual. and there's no question that there's tragedies, but the discount the number of tragedies because of the same thing. i would just want to reassure you that i think that is pretty secure. i believe with rights come responsibilities. so i think gunowners ought to
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set the example for being exemplary citizens by being totally responsible with the guns, who the self into, how they sell them, how they handle them, how they keep them locked up, how to keep children from getting to them, how they teach young children about them. i think with everyone of our rights comes real responsibilities, and i think if we were to example that for the far coast, on both ends, they might soon have an understanding. you know, gun violence in this country over the last 20 years is 46% less than it has ever been. a decline of 46% over the last 20 years in this country, in gun violence. the number of guns is about fivefold. so there are lots of arguments to be made. there are tragedies associated with violence are terrible. my wife and i had this debate.
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she is totally anti-gun, and i understand her situation, but the one reason our founders want to protect our rights under the second amendment didn't have anything to do with hunting. it has to do with defending our freedom. and so maybe you could call us paranoid, and we are worried about it, but i think if you look at the fiscal situation in the country and some of the lawlessness of the branch agencies of this administration in terms of ignoring what the law is common i think we have real reason to protect that right. and what i see now in congress is a growing group that want to protect that right. i would say the worry is more about the intellectual rights, property rights, your privacy that it would be second amendment. >> thank you for coming. obamacare kanye said he
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disagreed with a strategy that senator cruz and mike lee are offering up to defund obamacare. what other alternatives are out there to keep this horrible bill from being implemented on october 1? >> the debt limit. the debt limit. the debt limit. you attach it to the debt limit. know, but the point is, is you attach a repeal of the mandatory spending to the debt limit. otherwise, the debt limit doesn't go up. now, let me make a point. i don't want to get in a debate. let me make my point and then we will get around to you. the one thing at average american agrees with us is the government wastes money. the one thing that the average american agrees with us is that trimming down the size of the federal government is a good thing. that's an 80% entry on this country. restricting the debt limit does
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both that and reveals the obamacare. released delays it for a couple of years. because it's an absolute disaster. why don't we go where our strength is? my strength is as a conservative, let's cut down the size of the federal government. let's do that through the debt limit rather than have a fight. remember, we lost the 2012 election because nobody knew what we're for, but we also lost the independent voter which republicans weren't going to control anything, simply because we didn't seem reasonable to them in our approach to government. people didn't know what we were for. we talked about what we were against. and what we are to do is put out a message of, here's week we can ask and make a difference for kids. not only will we have an impact
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on obamacare, we will also the impact on spending. i want to crank this thing down. >> [inaudible] >> i would debate that with you. they didn't this less time because they strategically were licking their wounds from their election. but how do we get the one and 55, $158 billion cut? we did a by combining the budget control act with sequester, with the debt limit. look, i don't just work strategy on my own. i.c. john boehner -- i.c. john boehner once every two weeks or once every 10 days. i asking critical questions, what are you thinking, what are you planning, how are you going to do that? he doesn't have a solid together republican conference. so the point is, still, they are
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the majority. if you don't govern you will get thrown out. so we doesn't have an easy job doing the things i'd like him to do because he doesn't have the votes to do. there's not enough conservatives in the house yet. so into we get there, it's unlikely conversation i had with jim demint, the head of heritage which is the brainchild behind all this, is i would love for there to be 60 conservatives in the senate. how many of you think that's realistic that that will happen in my lifetime? it isn't going to happen. the point is, we ought to go mark levine recommendation and take back -- >> [inaudible] >> i understand that. where are we? >> on defund obamacare, what i
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hear from mike lee commercial tv, heritage foundation and is that they will find everything back obamacare so how does that shut down the government secrets well, because first of all, the only discretionary portion of obamacare is that there is less than 15% of the total cost. so i don't care whether we shut down the government or don't shut down the government. obamacare, 85% of it will get implemented. and if we shut down the government, all the president has to do, and he's already done it, declared all the employees associated with obamacare as essential. so it means everything with obamacare is going to happen. whether we shut it down or not. it's still going to get implement a. it's still going to happen. i asked them to do the study. and so the fact is that the irony is we shut down the government to stop obamacare
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them and obamacare keeps on going even though him the government shuts down. >> [inaudible] that we're not going to shut down the government. >> do you think the president is going to sign that bill? [inaudible] >> let's go back to my earlier contention. how big a megaphone to think the president has versus the conservatives? yeah, it's about seven times bigger than our voice. if every republican was preaching the same song and -- salm, and all the conservatives slanted news outlets, we would still get outnumbered seven to one. so here's the thing. you are here today. how many of your neighbors are as concerned about this issue as you are? half of them don't even listen to anything. so what do you think in terms of
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the influence, in terms of the electorate that will happen? will it be positive for us in terms of trying to grow our majority and actually change things? or will it be a futile effort were rebounded a just just and said by gosh, we're going to shut it down and then we don't do it. i will tell you if i have -- if you're going to go do that and he knew rather than create a strategy that would allow me to score rather than ones that said i will look good try, i would rather try to score them to the drawing. and so that's the difference. in mandatory spending happens to matter what. discretionary spending has to be appropriate. in the shut down all the president has to do is say these are essential employers and they get funded, regardless of what congress says. so they've already said that. so that's the irony of this whole strategy. whereas in the debt limit the government is still running. we have to decide which bills we're going to pay an the first
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one will pay is the interest and redeem the bonds. but then all of a sudden if they can't borrow more money, what do they have to do? they have to start squeezing things down and it essentially becomes mother of invention again. we start shrinking the federal government again. we haven't even begun what we can do in terms of shrinking the excesses of the federal government. the average federal employee with health insurance and having a $138,000 a year. that's to have times with family in muskogee makes. that's the average federal employee. so there's a lot of things we can do. how about a hiring freeze? you know, how about stopping? how but only, how by using videoconferencing instead of spending about $580 million a year in one department for conferences? how about doing the things you and i would do when we have to pinch pennies?
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you know, we create priority. we say what's first, what second, what's the most important? that starting happen only because of sequester. i mean, we went from 17 days and everybody will be furloughed, do not only for. where did you get the money? they made some decisions, didn't they? certain monies didn't get spent our discretionary that could have been spent. so all of a sudden the sequester turned out to be not a bad deal overall for our kids, it's a bad deal for some federal agencies. it's not a good way to do it, but it's a whole lot better than not doing anything. so what i would say is my approach would be not to use the c.r., but to use the debt limit. let's have a fight on grounds that the american people agree with us on. they agree with us about obamacare. they don't agree with us about a government shutdown, no matter. they think its incompetency. and i agree withhildish to shute
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government down. when there are certainly legitimate factors the federal government that ought to be operating every day for all of us. where are you? >> should i state my name? >> you better. look, we've got the fbi here is going to fire you, too. [laughter] >> okay. i'm from broken arrow. my partner and i got here a little bit late, and i didn't quite understand you. are you for defending obamacare or against obamacare? just give me a yes or no. >> i am for defending obamacare. i am for defending obamacare. >> that's what i want to hear. we can count on you to vote that way because we're going to be looking and watching you,
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senator. [laughter] we want you to do because we are paying your salary. there are people here, i want to see your hands. to defund obamacare. >> let me ask the question. let me ask negotiated away. how many people want me to defund obamacare if it's going to force the government to shut down and then we'll save money that way? how may want that? so you have three out of this whole group the ones to do that strategy instead of, look, you missed my point. i don't vote for crs anyway. nobody thought harder and nobody has led the fight against -- do you realize we guided six of us already out of obamacare? >> [inaudible] know, no, it's not that it's 30 days after that if you and i are going to have to disagree. i think the tactic is a failed
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tactic. >> [inaudible] think you are missing my point. look, let me set run -- one record straight year it will offend one and some other to you elected me. to make my best judgment in long-term interest of this country. that's what you elected me to do. you're not going to let everyone of my votes. but i do have a 99.2% conservative rating. no other senator in u.s. senate has not that high of an average. so i pretty well have gone the line of abiding by the constitution. but you ask me to commit to making a policy vote that is something i think won't work. so not against it. i'm totally against obamacare. i think this is a foolish way of getting there. next question. >> i am really sick of big government. i'm sick of the big federal government, and in oklahoma, we have a pipeline that should already be done under way.
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last week, the justice department did an 11th hour stop on a merger of an airline here. what it makes me feel like is these big bureaucracies unelected people, the epa, the irs, the justice department to go on and on and on. it's like they want us to be detroit. we didn't vote for him. he got no votes from the state, thank you, oklahoma. but we are paying for it. and he doesn't end run around everybody. what can we do to get oklahomans working, to get these things implemented without him sitting up there and saying, this is what you're going to do, instead of the people that own this country telling them? [applause] >> you know, i would kill you don't blame it all on obama because they were uncontrolled bureaucracies under george bush.
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i expense them, and he did, too. he goes back to the thing we kind of started out with, is the federal government is out of control. but it's been predicted by all the historians that our republic will fail. so the question is how do we cheat history? how do we go back? how do we really base -- we embrace the things that made america great. as i said earlier i think we have to get in charge. i've been working for nine years to try to make a big difference. i have made a small difference, not a bi big difference. by me, i've worked every day trying to do things. that i'm convinced the only way we do that is the states exert their tenth amendment authority and start reassessing -- [applause] changes to the constitution that restore federalism and a constitutional republic. and so i think that's the way. you are frustrated. you ought to see me in
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washington. asked by staff. i want people -- ask my wife. i want to pull my hair out. you know, i see it into things. one is, i see the constitution and i see what's happening to it. and then i see grown men and women who know what the constitution says but don't care. and that's what really makes me want to pull my hair out. they ignore what the constitution says because it's better for their political career if they do. and that's an abandonment of their oath. >> [inaudible] >> oh, no. i've already, it's not over with. first of all, when you approved delta and northwest and you approve united and continental, and then you don't approve usair an american, what you have done
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is condemned those to airlines to eventually go out of existence. so if, in fact, it was not anti-competitive for those other two, the only reason this is happening is because they want to look tough on antitrust. it has nothing to do with the facts of the case. >> ought not. >> well, that maybe, but the point is, is its arbitrary and its capricious. and that's why, it's not based on common sense or sound judgment or through antitrust law. it's conjured up. they found seven codes out of all those codes that were anti-competitive. they're going to stop the merger on the basis of that? if she shows you how lawless this administration is. and i don't say that word lightly. >> senator, my name is karl. i'm one of those federal
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employees that you're talking about, but i can assure you i don't make anywhere near $130,000 a year. i'm actually a federal public defender here in muskogee. i live up in wagner, and you were talking earlier about this a question how exactly been a good thing in decreasing the size of the federal budget. and it's certainly done that. i guess my question is, or a little background. my agency, we don't have a whole lot of discretionary spending. as you might expect the public defender's don't get the biggest budget for the whole federal government, you know. i mean, it's pretty lame. so when there's a big percentage of cats, like sequestered is imposing on us, it means we can't people. we've already lost three employees because of that. we might have to lay off more people at the start of the fiscal year. the funny thing is, we are
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constitutionally mandated because when you prosecute people, you have to have people defend those people. and so if we don't take the case because we lose attorneys, they never go to an appointed attorney who gets paid by the hour. and it's ended up costing the government more money when we can't take these cases. so my question is, as the doctor, would you rather perform surgery with a hatchet or a scalpel? i think, why doesn't congress step in and pass a budget as a these are the good programs that are efficient, that are necessary, these are the programs that we think there is waste? and why doesn't congress make the decision instead of just imposing and tightening down on some agencies that are necessary and efficient? >> yeah, i basically agree with you, the indiscriminate nature of the sequestered. and i think i said earlier,
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better sequestered and nothing. but your agency, by the way, is one of those wasteful agencies in washington. and it's not my fault that the money doesn't come to you. you spend $480 million last year on conferences. the justice department, and half of those could've been done on -- let me finish the point. half of those could've been done on videoconferencing. but, know that, we decide to spend $300 a night or $400 a night. that judges are taking a big trip here in the next -- i've already criticized it. it hasn't stopped them. $600 a night rooms. the fact is we are broke. we are out of money. who would you think, should we have a conference where judges get together, or should we pay public defender's? nobody is making that choice. so i don't disagree with you that it is unfair the way it's rolled out, but let me tell you,
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there's no place in the federal government that isn't rife with waste. let me just give you an example. you never had one thing from the state department about the sequestered, did you? not one keep. why? because there's so much waste in the state department, nothing to a 4.5, 5% cut. and if you have any common sense applied to the management of most agencies, there wouldn't be a problem. the second point i would make, president obama through the only be made this request much harder than it needed to be. he had a choice of doing two things. he could make the sequestered agencywide, which means program specific, or he could make it just to the department and let them meet the goals. he chose to make a specific. so that they would exert the most pain on the most people so that he could win the battle of increasing spending. that's what he did through the omb. so they had a choice.
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your department probably wouldn't have got to cut out all had he made a choice to do it the smart way, ma the way a prudent person would do it is cut the waste, keep the good. but they didn't do that. they went by department, line item, by facilities. so we have, the problems we have with sequestered, because of the choice that the president made to make it as painful as possible. >> senator coburn, welcome to muskogee. will you please explain to the audience but obama did that has to do with using the office of personnel management to accommodate the health care needs of staff members in congress and not force the staff of congress to going to obamacare? [applause] >> yeah, i actually raised the
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question because i turned back about 20% of my budget every year. in running the office. and i want to say thank you very much. i want a decision made so i could find my budget for next year because i think employees that work for me ought to get insurance. and under, i think members of congress on to be in anything we ask the american citizens. i have no problem with that. but i think, i think asking people who work 15, 18 hours a day some days, to give up health insurance, or at least the contribution portion of that health insurance from a senate office, isn't fair to those employees. just like it's not fair for you. that's my opinion. it doesn't make it right. it's my opinion. so i want to know what the decision was going to be because i wanted to prepare my budget in order to buy health insurance for the employees who work both
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here and the state of oklahoma. every other federal employee has a very generous 72% payment towards their health insurance. and, in fact, staff are federal employees under the law. so we have accepted those. and i offered an amendment in the health committee during the obama to debate that would put members of congress into the exchanges. i think we are to experience what americans are going to have to experience, with no contribution from the federal government. i totally disagree with the ruling on members of congress. i don't disagree with it on the employees that work for you that are employed by the federal government. so i think the polling was totally erroneous. and again, outside the law, here's what it says, and it's again another instance of the lawlessness, or at least the very loose interpretation, of executive privilege which i
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assure you is not there to. >> [inaudible] >> okay. right over here. let's get one back over here, and then we will finish up. >> dr. coburn, on behalf of my family, i appreciate what you've done for us, your sacrifices have been tremendous, i know. and i've a very difficult question for you. we've talked a lot about the constitution. we've talked a lot about the lawless administration we currently have. the constitution provides for three branches, executive, judicial, legislative. we have an executive sitting president who is rewriting laws, failing to enforce laws he has chosen that he wanted to have passed. selecting which part of laws he wants enforced.
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i want to know who he is accountable to and who is responsible for enforcing his constitutional requirements and responsibilities. [applause] >> you know, i -- >> [inaudible] we know that's no good. so who -- >> well, it's a house of representatives. >> [inaudible] >> it's the judiciary committee. what you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president. and that's called impeachment. but you -- [applause] that's not something you take lightly, and you have to use a
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historical precedent of what that means. you know, i, i think there is some unintended violation of law in this administration, but i also think there's a ton of incompetence of people who are making decisions, you know, in homeland security, 15 of the 17 top spots right now are empty. i would just tell you a general portion of the nominees are absolutely incompetent. >> the irs forces me to abide by the law. >> i agree. i agree. and so my little wiggle out of that when i get that written to me is i believe that needs to be evaluated and determined, but thank goodness it doesn't have to happen in the senate until they're brought charges in the house. those are serious things, but we are in serious times. and so i don't have the legal
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background to note is that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors, but i think they're getting perilously close as terms of, let me share with you. i had uscis employees, these are the people that do the background investigation on immigration, told me personally, managers, that homeland security told them, don't worry about it, ignore all the background of those people. this is the management telling the career employees to do something against the law. so you know, i'm documenting all the stuff as it goes a long but i don't know where that level this. i'm kind of like the lady in the back. i am fed up. i am frustrated. you know, i am happy to raise an issue at every point. barack obama is a personal friend of mine. he became my friend in the senate, but that does not mean i agree in any way with what he's
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doing or how he's doing it. i, quite frankly, think he's in a difficult position he's put himself in. and if it continues, i think we're going to another constitutional crisis in a country in terms of the president. >> [inaudible] >> oh, sure. it's not just his failure to -- look, i will make this point. the rule of law is the one thing that this country has better than anything else. the rest of the world looks at us and says, that's the glue that holds them together. because no matter whether you are poor, a minority, rich, insider, outsider, you have this gentleman in the back who will defend you and make sure that your side of the story gets told. and we have an administration that undermines the rule of law, here's what happens. the next time i add a decision
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put on the rule of law, gosh, if the administration doesn't have to follow the law and the president doesn't follow the law and the center doesn't follow the law, why should i? and all of a sudden you have a declining, crumbling republic. and what we really need is an enhanced fidelity to the rule of law rather than the opposite of what we see in this administration. all right, we are through with questions. we've gone over. i think around about 10 or 15 minutes to visit with anyone who wants to visit. i want to thank you for coming out. i'm glad you're here to stress your point. i think it's great. i just don't agree with it. and i have a little bit of an ornery streak in me, independent streak, but that's the one reason why i'm challenging things in washington, too. so you may have heard something here tonight you adamantly disagree with.
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i got an e-mail, i'm about $10,000 behind right now. [laughter] so i won't get an answer too quickly but i will answer it, and i will read it. so e-mail me if you heard something he didn't like and you want to educate me on. and let me know your thoughts. i'll try, one of my cost savings in this quest is not quite as many people help me write letters. so it takes a little longer to get a letter to you right now. god bless you and thank you for being here. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations] >> and here on c-span2 and about one, a white house briefing scheduled for 12:30 p.m. eastern time. expecting questions about series of, special after the reported chemical weapons used by the
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government there, and the white house briefing will be led by spokesman jay carney. live coverage schedule for today 12:30 p.m. eastern time. coverage from lawmakers town hall meetings continues today with illinois congressman luis b. harris your key is probably going to be talking about immigration policy. is part of our partisan group of lawmakers who are negotiating a comprehensive reform bill. live coverage of his town hall on our companion network c-span. also on c-span tonight, former vice president dick cheney and his daughter was expected to run for the u.s. senate in wyoming. they hold a conversation at the steamboat institute in colorado. that is at 7:30 p.m. eastern. and here on c-span2, "washington journal" spotlight on magazines will focus on the canadian prime ministers stephen harper was a journalist jay nordlinger at 7:10 p.m. eastern. talks are being held in iran as
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part of the region discussion specifically about the situations in theory and in egypt. a u.n. envoy is in toronto he is a former u.s. ever met and this is his second visit to iran in a year as the top u.n. envoy. he was the u.s. assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs. he left that post in may of last year. >> who you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy this. every week in the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> next, some c-span through to the white house 2016 coverage. this is from new hampshire where texas senator ted cruz spoke recently about economic growth and defunding the health care
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law. senator cruz is reportedly considering a run for president in 2016. the discussion was held at the home of a former u.s. diplomat in dublin new hampshire. the senator is introduced financial center kelly ayotte and to show as much of this as we can before the white house briefing start. out of scheduled for 12:30 p.m. eastern. >> thank you. hank you so much. i am deeply honored to be here tonight, especially with joe who was with me. i want to thank -- thanks, joe. [applause] you know, when i look at ambassador and augustine, everything that they've done for the party, and again time and time again hosting this event, their activism, we are just so blessed to have great americans
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like a gust of and joe. thank you so much, both of you, ambassador. wonderful. [applause] and i want to thank our party chairman, jennifer horn, for her dedication. [applause] for her tenacity. she does not back down from a fight. she stands for our principles and she works very, very hard. jennifer, we are grateful for what you're doing or our party. because i know that jennifer and all of you are working incredibly hard to make sure that 2014 is a winning year here in new hampshire for republicans, and i will tell you this, a winning year we need not just in new hampshire, but we need to take back the united states senate for republicans. [applause]
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now, what's at stake? we know what's at stake. what is at stake is we live in the greatest nation on earth. we are so blessed to live here in this country, but what's at stake we know, $17 trillion in debt, and a president that just wants to keep spending and spending. and did so because the republicans have control of the house that there has been any stop on that spending. and when you think about obamacare and what it is doing to our businesses, individuals, you know, it's so bad that the president delayed it for businesses. what about the rest of us americans? that law has to go and it has to be repealed, and we need more republicans in the united states senate, and in congress, to keep the majority in the house and the senate to make sure that happens. i know i see it every day. joe is a small business owner. each of you have seen in your
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business. wrong for america. republicans have good a guess about how we can use market-based principles to actually drive down health care costs and to make health care better in quality and give people more choice, not less choice like what this president is doing to average americans with obamacare. and, finally, the defense of our nation. look at what is happening around the world right now. jennifer talk about in gaza. we need republicans indiana state senate. we need to hold people accountable for what happened to those four brave americans. [applause] and i can tell you that i'm not going to give up this fight. for the truth and to hold people accountable to make sure this never happens again. [applause] we can say the same thing for the irs, that the irs would target americans for their
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viewpoints. so absolutely wrong. and so this fight that you are engaged in, to not only here in new hampshire, but across the country, to make sure that we can win back the majority in the united states senate in 2014, and then go and take on the white house, republican president in 2016. that will make the difference for this nation. [applause] we are the party of opportunity. we are the party of growth. the party that wants to give people the opportunity, the american dream, that you can do anything in this country with personal responsibility, work ethic, nothing can stop you in this country. and i am so proud to be here tonight. with, i know someone whose family story, and his own personal story, demonstrates what you can do as an american
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living in the greatest country on earth, with the american dream. it is my honor tonight to be here with my colleague, ted cruz. and i will tell you that, i want to tell you a little story, because i met him long before i came to the united states senate. and that was when i was involved in a little fight when i was attorney general. and i took a case to the united states supreme court. it was a case i took to the supreme court defending our parental notification law, and i know many of you followed that case. and ted was solicitor general when i was attorney general. and he filed a brief on behalf of the state of new hampshire. and it wasn't just any brief. let me tell you how smart this guy is. the brief that he filed on behalf of the state of new hampshire was instrumental in us
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winning that case. so i want to thank ted for that. [applause] and so i knew that, i knew then that that was not going to be the last that i was going to see of ted cruz. and lo and behold, he has come to washington. he has come and take in washington on with the storm. he has passion. he has principles. and he is very smart. so i am deeply honored to introduce my colleague and friend, ted cruz. [applause] >> thank you very, very much. kelly ayotte is a rockstar.
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[applause] >> let me tell you, your senator is tough as granite. there is no stronger advocate of the men and women in our military in the u.s. senate than in kelly ayotte. [applause] and there is no one tougher going to get the truth about what happened in gaza than kelly ayotte. -- benghazi. your senator is part of a new generation of leaders who are stepping forward. and let me say on behalf of of texans, and only half of americans across our great nation, thank you to the state of new hampshire for your tremendous senator, kelly ayotte. [applause] i also want to start by thanking
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basha petrone and a gust of for your tremendous hospitality. for opening up this incredible home, for bringing a texan from the swamps of houston to this exquisite vista that is truly breathtaking, and i'm pretty sure that you can actually see canada from here. [laughter] so i appreciate y'all going above and beyond to welcoming. [applause] and i'll note as i went up there in the home that a gust to have a bumper sticker sitting by the stairs that said, stop crime, shoot back.
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[laughter] and that is really how you make a texan feel at home. i want to thank jennifer for your incredible hard work wringing this together, all of them bring every here and i want to thank all of y'all for traveling, so many of you traveled hours and for all over the place to be here your thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] >> now, i do need to begin with just a warning. by virtue of your coming in tonight, tomorrow morning each of you will be audited by the irs. so thank you for the strength, the courage of your conviction.
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you know, and this week our eldest daughter caroline started kindergarten. so it is a big week in our household. caroline was giddy. she was jumping off, bouncing off the walls. and it may be think back to a couple years ago. a couple years ago we were on vacation with her two girls, and we're with some friends also have two little girls. we are going out to dinner and caroline wanted to drive with him, and it was no space in the car. caroline was three at the time. she proceeded to fall down to the ground and kick and yell and scream and throw a total can do. i know none of you all have ever had kids do anything like this. and my wife, she is tough. so she had a very stern conversation with caroline. and dinner was almost canceled. it went to dinner. went back to the hotel room on vacation but we went up to the
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hotel room and he were kneeling down with killed as she was saying her prayers at night. caroline looks up and she goes, dear jesus, today, we had a situation. [laughter] and i'm not sorry, but it's not going to happen again. >> heidi and i just bit our tongues. not to laugh out loud at that precious, precious prayer. and you know what? that's what each and every one of us is here today. we are here because of our kids. we are here because of our grandkids. we are here because we're worried about the direction this country is going. and we are here because we want to make sure our kids and
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grandkids have every bit of opportunity, even more, that we were blessed to have. and so i want to come here today with just a word of hope and optimism. something incredible is happening. we are seeing a new paradigm in politics that is changing the rules. and that new paradigm is the rise of the grassroots. there is no power in politics like the grassroots. and i want to talk about the grassroots in the past, in the present, and in the future. in the past i want to give the example of my race for senate in texas. now, when we launched the campaign january 2011, i was at 2% in the polls. the margin of error was 3%.
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[laughter] those were our real poll numbers. i'm not making that up. i was really, really excited with those numbers. until heidi pointed out to me that technically i could've been at negative 1%. we ended up going through a $50 million primary. the most expensive primary in the entire country. we were outspent three to one, had $35 million in nasty personal, ugly attack ads. you know, midway through heidi is watching all the stats. turns to me and says, goodness gracious, i didn't know you were such a rotten guy. and what we saw happening was incredible. we saw grassroots leaders throughout texas.
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we so republican women, like my friend, sylvia your we saw tea party leaders. we saw business leaders. we socking and activists come together, men and women begin knocking on doors, making phone calls, sending us, getting a facebook and twitter and reaching out to everyone they knew, and saying, listen, we can't keep doing what we've been doing. we've got to turn things around. and despite being outspent three to one, we went from 2% in the polls do not just winning but winning that primary by 14 points in winning the general by 16 points. [applause] >> that was a testament to the grassroots. it was a testament to the power of men and women across the state with a passion to turn our
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country around. and i'll tell you, i don't think i have ever been a part of anything in my life that was more humbling and inspiring. tell you a true story from the campaign true. i was up in lubbock, texas, during the runoff. and an older gentleman came up to me, someone i didn't know, and he put his hand on my shoulder and he said, ted, i'm 74. i'm retired. i gave you $2500 for the primary out of my retirement money. and he said, tonight i'm giving you another $2500 for the runoff out of my retirement savings. because if we don't stop what's happening in this country, my retirement is going away. now look, that's powerful when you look in someone's eyes and they're saying, please, help us turn things around.
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that's the power of the grassroots. let's talk about the president. you know, one of the very first fights that i was privileged to be a part of in the senate was standing side-by-side with my friend cinda rand paul, whose 13 hour filibuster -- [applause] now, when that started it was 11:47 a.m. that rand paul went down to the floor of the senate. most of our colleagues thought what he was doing was strange, curious, even excited to the first two senators to support them were mike lee and myself. and what happened is the american people begin to get engage. all across this country people became fixated by c-span. off rac raised that does not ocr
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naturally in the english language your. [laughter] i said our good friends at c-span. and we saw people all over the country going online and reading and speaking out and saying yes, defend our constitutional rights. and it was incredible as the day went on one senator after another after another came to the floor of the senate. a number had gone home for dinner, and their staffs call them and said hey, get back here. you with the colleagues of mine, twitter is going up. you would see colleagues of mine coming to the floor of the senate going i need to be here. for 13 hours the american people spoke up, and spoke loudly. and because of the involvement of the grassroots, the next day president obama was forced to do what he had refused to do for three consecutive weeks, which is admit in writing that the constitution limits his
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authority to target u.s. citizens. [applause] that was a victory of the grassroots. that couldn't have been done from washington. it could only have been done from the american people. you know, the next big fight we got involved in was the battle over guns. now, we all remember the horrific, heart wrenching tragedy in newtown, connecticut. and, unfortunately, following the tragedy president obama didn't come out and say, let's go after violent criminals. let's do everything we can to stop violent crime. listen, i think violent criminals, we hav had to come dn on like a ton of bricks. [applause] but, unfortunately, president obama, instead, tried to use
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that tragedy as an excuse to go after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. vice president joe biden -- you know, you don't need a punch line. [applause] you just say his name, people laugh. but vice president joe biden told all of us that if anybody attacks your house, just go outside with a double barrel shotgun, and fired both barrels in the air. which is very, very good advice. if it so happens are being attacked by a flock of geese. but let me tell you, that fight over guns, in the early days and
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weeks, that fight looked unwinnable. the momentum was entirely with the present. all of the media told us it could not be won, and there were lots of senators on the edge wavering. a handful of senators stood up and said, we will filibuster any legislation that undermines the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. [applause] and what happened next was exactly the same thing that happened with the drones. what happened next was the american people began getting involved, begin speaking out, e-mailing, tweeting, began calling their senators and saying, defend our bill of rights. let me tell you one of the most effective defenders we had the second amendment was your senator, kelly ayotte. [applause]
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and any new york mayor who thinks he can come up here and bullying the senator from new hampshire seems a little bit confused by the concept of live free or die. [applause] but as a result of the american people getting engaged, all of the senators that were on the fence, that we think about going with the president, that were agonizing when it came the day for the vote, every single proposal president obama's that would've undermined the second and in the right to keep and bear arms was voted down on the floor of the senate. [applause] that's the power of the
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grassroots. that's the new paradigm that we are seeing. so let's talk about the future. in my view, the top priority for every republican should be a champion growth and opportunity. ..
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allyson growth ought to be a bipartisan objective. it ought to be the top of your ready of every e elected officials, republican or democrat. because growth is foundational to everything else. if you want to turnaround on employment, we have to have growth. you want to turnaround unsustainable debt you have to have growth. if you want to maintain the strongest military in the world to protect our national security, you have got to have growth. [applause] now how do you get growth? three's simple steps. number one, finally winning in the out of control spending and unsustainable debt in washington. [applause] your note last fall i had the privilege of speaking at the
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republican convention down in tampa. i talked about the national debt and our two little girls, caroline and cassey. that afternoon heidi and i got back to the hotel room and i pulled out my life along looking at twitter and it so happens that paula townstone, the comedian, was watching the convention that night. i guess she didn't have anything better to do. [laughter] and she sent a tweet that said ted cruz said when his daughter was born the national debt was $10 trillion. now it's $16 trillion. what the heck did she do? [laughter] which heidi and i laughed so hard we almost fell out of bed. i said that at another gathering and someone in the back said so it's her fault! [laughter] but, you know what?
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caroline is five. in her short life, our national debt has grown over 60%. listen, what we are doing to our kids and grandkids is fundamentally immoral. it is wrong. if we don't turn back from this task they are going to spend their whole adult life not working to meet the challenge of the next generation or the challenge of the future, but working to pay off the debt that we are racking up. our parents didn't do that to us. their parents didn't do that to them. you know, there are a lot of people in the media that say anyone who was elected with support from the tea party, those guys are radical and extreme. i just have to chuckle at that. it is only in washington, d.c. that it is considered a radical
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to want to live within your means. [applause] it is only at the united states capital that is considered extreme not to want to bankrupt our kids and grandkids. the second step to restoring economic growth is fundamental tax reform. [applause] our tax code is far too complicated. it's far too byzantine. there are far more words in the irs code than there are in the bible. not one of them is a good. [laughter] every year we spent roughly $500 billion on tax compliance. on the lawyers and accountants. that's roughly the entire budget of our military. and it's pure and deadweight
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loss. as we like to say in texas it doesn't produce a single truck. [laughter] and then we have seen the abuse from the irs. we've seen the irs targeting the political enemy of president obama. which is seen the irs citizen groups tell us what books your reading, prepare ebook report on the books for reading. we have seen this telling other citizens tell us the content of your prayers. you know what clacks the federal government has no business asking any american the content of our prayers. [applause] on one level this scandal reflects the corruption and abuse of the power of the obama administration.
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but on another level it is indicative of just too much power in washington. [applause] when the federal government thinks it has that much power over our lives, it doesn't matter which party is in power. something is wrong. and that's why i think the simplest and the best solution is we should abolish the irs. [applause] we should move to a simple, fair, flat tax -- [applause] so every american can fill out
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his or her taxes on a postcard. [applause] now in washington, d.c., that is what is known as crazy talk. [laughter] because listen, let's be very clear abolishing the irs, that isn't going to be easy. and the reason is there is an army of lobbyists on case streets who make hundreds of millions of dollars getting xm since -- exemptions to the tax code and there are politicians in both parties with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. i don't know how many of you have run across management consultants but they have a phrase called bhags, big hairy audacious goals. abolishing the irs is a big hairy audacious goals. [laughter]
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but if i'm right that we are seeing a new paradigm, the rise of the grassroots, the devotee of the american people to hold elected officials accountable, it is only true that new paradigm that we can get that. the third piece to restoring economic growth is regulatory reform. president obama has on leash regulators like locusts on small business is destroying jobs. the only problem is you can't use in insecticidal the regulators. [laughter] that's tough. they are in the back saying you wanna bet? and there is no more important regulatory reform that we could do than to repeal every single word of obamacare. [applause]
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now we are right now in the middle of a fight. we have i believe the single best opportunity we have had to actually succeed in stopping obamacare. on said timber 30 if, 38 days from today the continuing resolution that funds the federal government expires. i have publicly pledged along with a number of other senators that under no circumstances will i support a continuing resolution that funds even 1 penny of obamacare. [applause]
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in terms of why it's important and how we can win there is bipartisan agreement right now that obamacare isn't working. senator max baucus is publicly described as a huge train wreck. that is the guy the road two -- wrote it. maybe he didn't read it. [laughter] the teamsters have publicly said obamacare is destroying 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the american middle class. now that is sent me saying it. that is the teamsters. the irs employees unit has publicly asked to be exempt from obamacare.
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these are the guys in charge of enforcing it on us. and most strikingly, president obama has now unilaterally and speed to exempted members of congress from obamacare. that's exactly right, it is shameful. [applause] that happened after harry reid and the senate democrats sat down in a closed door session meeting with him, where according to the reports they begged let us out from under obamacare. i think the biggest vbied in washington is not a fight between republicans and democrats. it is a divide between the entrenched politicians in both parties and the american people. [applause] and there is no better example of that than the president's decision to exempt members of
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congress from obamacare. obamacare is the single biggest job killer in this country. a couple days ago i was in a small town in texas and help country. sat down with about 20 small business owners and asked them go around the table and share with me an issue that is weighing on your heart. a totally open-ended question. over half of the small business owners said the single biggest obstacle my business cases is obamacare. several of them said less than we have 40, 40 employees and our business and great opportunity to expand. but we aren't doing it because if we get over 50 employees we are subject to obamacare and that will drive us out of business. one woman owned several fast-food restaurants. she said almost with tears in her eyes that she has been forced to reduce the hours of every single employee on her staff to 29 hours a week or less.
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she said less than, many of these employees have worked for us ten, 20 years. they can't feed their families on 29 hours a week. but if we go out of business they can't feed their families either to get another fellow at a manufacturing company builds hunting blocks and he describes how much to his chagrin he was forced to move that manufacturing overseas to china. they said was and that is 150 to 200 good jobs, manufacturing jobs that i want to have here in the united states. but if i have it here, is subject to obamacare and we can't be competitive in the marketplace with that cost so i'm forced to send it overseas. just this week, ups sent a letter to 18,000 employees saying they were dropping spousal coverage. telling those employees your husbands and wives just lost their health insurance.
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now we all remember president obama telling the american people if you like your health insurance you can keep it. every day that is becoming less and less true. so how do we win this fight? listened, a lot of people will tell you this fight is not winable. a lot of people will tell you let me tell you what i think should happen. the house of representatives should pass a continuing resolution that funds the entirety of the federal government. every bit of it except for obamacare. [applause] and they should explicitly prohibit spending any money, mandatory or discretion on obamacare. now we have seen this plea before. president obama and harry reid will scream and yell those mean nasty republicans are threatening to shut down to it
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and then we ought to do something republicans haven't done in a long time. stand up and win the arguments. [applause] we need to say less than we voted to fund the government. we don't want to shut the government down. president obama has granted waivers to giant corporations. why is president obama threatening to shut the government down to deny those same leaders to the hard working american families? that is an argument that we can win. and if president obama force is a partial tiberi shutdown if you have an impasse, you have two sides. that impasse ends when one side or the other blanks.
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now why is it that the media always says president obama will never, ever abandon his principles? so republicans have to abandon hours. you want to know how we win? don't blink. [applause] at this point i'm going to be brutally honest. we cannot win this fight if the ordinary rules of washington apply. it is the smoke-filled rooms of washington, d.c.. we can't win this argument. it cannot be done.
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let me hold off a minute and make sure she's all right. >> the ordinary rules of washington will win this fight. mike lee can't win this fight. there is no elected politician in washington that can win this fight. only you can win this fight. the only way the fight can be one is if i'm right that we are seeing a new paradigm and model in the grassroots. it's interesting reporters have been asking how is it going convincing your colleagues in washington? the plan to defund obamacare has been called deceptive, deceitful, not crazy, stupid and
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wacko. and that is just by republicans. the answer that i give to our friends is i'm not trying to convince my colleagues. i am trying to make the case to the american people. a national website has been launched, dontfundit.com. dontfundit.com. [applause] if you haven't done so already, i would urge each and every one of you to go to dontfundit.com, the national petition, call your elected representatives and get ten, 20, 40, 40, 50 of your friends to do the same thing. [laughter] do you know in just a few weeks we have gotten over half a million signatures on dontfundit.com? in just a few weeks.
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the only way that we will win the fight is if we see a grassroots tsunami. if between now and september 30th we see millions upon millions upon millions of americans going in to dontfundit.com sign the petition and speaking out and holding our elected officials accountable. there is nothing that gets their attention more than hearing from their constituents. let me tell you liberty is never seaver than when politicians are terrified. [laughter] the most important reason i am here today is to ask for your help. if we can save the american people from this train wreck and bring back the growth then i need your help, we need the help the next 38 days to get as many
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people as possible to come together and hold our elected officials accountable. every one of us including me. [applause] let me tell you the most important reason economic growth is important because it's foundational to opportunity. it is foundational to helping people achieve the american dream. for a long time i've advocated wife called opportunity conservatives which is every policy as conservative as we think about and talk about should focus like a laser on opportunity. on how it impacts the least among us and young people and hispanics and african-americans and single moms. those struggling to climb in the economic ladder. the dirty little secret that few of you in the media will tell you. the people that have been hurt the most by the obama economy or
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the least among us. under president obama hispanic unemployment climbs to nearly 10%. african-american unemployment to 10%. youth unemployment age 16 to 19, over 25%. when you help small businesses with 1.3 trillion in the new taxes with massive regulations, it's not the ceo is that get hurt. if you were flying in a private jet ten years ago you are still flying in a private jet. the people who are getting hurt are those struggling to climb the economic ladder. they are a single mom is trying to put food on the table for their kids. in the last election, jay leno right before said sold the obama
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campaign is targeting the first term voters. well of course he is. the second of voters have all graduated and they can't find a job. [laughter] we should be the party of the 47%. we should be the party of those climbing the economic ladder because the american free enterprise system has been the greatest engine of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever seen. no nation on earth is allowed so many millions to come from all over the world with nothing and achieve anything. i want to close to final observations. one in my life as well as all of your lives, freedom,
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opportunity, they are not the things we read about in the book. they are real and personal and part of we are. in my family my dad grew up in cuba. as a kid when he was 14 he began fighting in the cuban revolution to be yet he was thrown in prison and tortured by the regime beaten almost to death to get today my father is a pastor in dallas and his front teeth are not his own because they were kicked out of his mouth when he was a teenager. my dad fled from cuba in 1957 and came to texas. when he landed in austin he was 18-years-old and he couldn't speak a word of english. he had nothing but $100 sewn into his underwear. i don't advise carrying money in your underwear. [laughter] he got a job washing dishes and made $0.50 an hour.
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he worked seven days a week and paid his way through the university of texas and he went on to get a job and started the small business and he worked towards the american dream. when i was a kid my dad used to say to me over and over again when we face depression in cuba i have a place. if we lose our freedom here, where do we go? [applause] my entire life my dad has been my hero. but you know what i find most incredible about his story? how commonplace is this. everyone of us has a story like that what is our parents were great grandparents we are all the children of those at risk everything for freedom to read
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each one of us could walk up here one at that time and tell the story. i'm going to suggest to you that is the most fundamental dna of what it means to be an american to tell tell you the freedom and opportunity above all else and that is why we are going to succeed in turning this around. the final thing that i want to say is if you remember nothing that i said tonight, then you probably had too much to drink. [laughter] if you remember one thing that i said tonight, let it be this. as things look right now i am profoundly optimistic. we have seen things look dire before. i'm optimistic for three simple reasons. number one, we are right.
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freedom works. [applause] there's the very symbol dynamic conservatives win when we articulate what it is that we believe because this is fundamentally the center-right nation. liberals live when they effectively obfuscate with a believe. their policies do not work and all we have to do is speak the truth. secondly, there is a new generation of leaders stepping forward in washington. you know, if you look at new young leaders, people like rand paul and mike lee and kelly ayotte --
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[applause] you know what is incredible? five years ago not one of them was an office you have to go back to after world war ii to see the instance where the generation of leaders effectively were defending the free market principles is a new generation stepping forward. let me suggest something. if you look at that new generation they are almost exactly the same age. in my instance i was ten when ronald reagan became president. i was 18 when ronald reagan left the white house. now, you know how the world war ii generation many of them would prefer to fdr as our president? i can tell you this i would go to my grave with ronald wilson defining what it means to be president. [applause]
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he didn't blink. but i have referred to this next generation as the children of reagan. listen to them communicate and listen to kelly stand up and talk about the free principles and listen to the rand. they are optimistic and appealing to our better angels. they are the echoes of ronald reagan. they are not hateful issues. they are saying we as americans can get back to our friend be cut founding principles that have made the nation so great. the third and final reason that i am optimistic, the biggest reason is because of each of you. because of the rise of the grassroots. if we are right that the american people are standing up and saying enough already. we are going to take our country that can get back to the
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free-market principles and to the constitution and get back to the founding principles that made us the greatest country on earth. you know it took jimmy carter to give us all reagan -- ronald reagan. [applause] and i am convinced bill lovkvist lasting legacy of president obama -- ljungqvist lasting legacy of president obama is going to be all of us standing up to restore that shining city on the hill that is the united states of america. mike lee. of thank you and god bless you. [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you so much to the first of all here in new hampshire we say thank you all. they say thank you you all. >> basically speaking all of you all is all yall. >> it was ronald reagan that reminded us that freedom is only one generation away from extinction. and if we do not engage now in the fight to preserve freedom, then we will one day be telling our children and our children's children what it once was like to be free. that's why we are all here. ..
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>> there's some coffee in the back here, there's some wonderful homemade cookies. please eat some more of the food. and alan glassman has taken some photos that were, are available in the foyer, in the hall. and al clueless from wkbk radio just announced that in ten minutes the international space station will go over -- >> at 8:13. if we look to the northwest. >> northwest is that way.
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the international space station will go over. but come get some coffee. get warmed up again. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and i agree with you, you've
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got to have affirmative health care reform -- >> [inaudible] we've got a couple years to work on it. >> i think it's -- i hear what you're saying. >> [inaudible] >> well done. >> thank you. thank you for being here. [inaudible conversations] >> the only way we're going to win -- >> yes. thank you -- >> thank you for what you're doing. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i just want to mention that the if you need help on that immigration issue, let us know. >> thank you. >> i look forward to hearing that story -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> when i heard you say that story, i thought it was so inspiring and -- [inaudible] >> opportunity, making it easier for people to achieve prosperity that one generation ago -- [inaudible] >> god bless. >> thank you. thank you for making the trip down. i very much appreciate it.
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[inaudible conversations] >> one more? >> please. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you so much. >> i think that you're what we need. republican grassroots, and you're right, we're the strong ones -- [inaudible] what the party these in the future. get over the trouble that was at the convention. >> yeah. that was unfortunate. we've got to bring people together -- >> 2014, 2015. god bless. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> do you -- [inaudible] >> if you connect to john -- [inaudible] >> okay, great. thank you very much. >> good luck to you. >> okay. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. real quick now. >> thank you. >> all right. nice. one more here, i'm sorry. >> 3, 2, 1, go. >> got it.
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[inaudible conversations] >> i just can't trust any guy who eats broccoli. [laughter] >> yeah, there's no -- although you put cheese on broccoli, that's pretty good. i like cheese on cheese. >> i can't have broccoli without cheese. [laughter] hey, look, i've been in politics a long while. i'm a marketer from -- [inaudible] and then i get into the internet. >> yeah. >> so i know something about market. >> thank you. i appreciate it. [inaudible conversations] >> my husband and i came from -- [inaudible] thanks for the photo. there are. >> and here, come join us. we'll get all three of us. >> oh, that would be nice.
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>> oh, thank you. >> here's my question, in massachusetts is it even worth -- [inaudible] >> there's room. you want to do one more? >> sure. thank you very much. >> one more. >> you know, i don't know if i should -- [inaudible] >> look, in terms of the mum, i think if we're going to win, the first stage is -- [inaudible] the next stage is probably going to be red state democrats who are up in '14. and -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations]
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it wasn't that long ago that scott brown -- >> that was exciting for us. >> and even massachusetts -- [inaudible] but even in a state like massachusetts, this thing isn't working. and if people start -- [inaudible] starts changing the political climate. they're not -- i don't think the massachusetts senator is going to be the first to jump ship. >> [inaudible] it has a different economy. >> and, listen concern. [inaudible] >> okay, thank you. it was a pleasure meeting you. >> good to meet you. >> i'm from new hampshire. >> where?
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>> [inaudible] >> thank you very much. >> right now if i could ask you one question on immigration. >> yes. >> do you think there's a chance that the house is going to take this up in pieces and try to go step by step? >> i don't know what they're going to do exactly. in my view, what the house should do, i think there are a lot of areas of bipartisan agreement on immigration. i think there's a lot of agreement that our current system is broken. i think there's a lot of agreement that we have got to get serious about securing the borders and about stopping the problem of illegal immigration. and i think there's a lot of agreement that we should improve and streamline legal immigration so that we welcome and celebrate legal immigration. >> right. >> and so what i think the house should do is focus on areas of bipartisan agreement rather than i think the gang of eight bill that passed was the wrong
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approach and would make the problem worse. that is what i hope they do. what they will do, i don't know. it'll be up to them. >> how would you feel about if 11 million or whatever it is, if we gave them a permanent status, but they never have a path to citizenship, and they never get the right to vote? >> so i introduced in the judiciary committee a series of amendments to try to fix the gang of eight bill. because i would like to see common sense immigration reform pass. the gang of eight bill makes the problem worse, but one of the amendments i introduced was to do exactly what you said, to say that those here illegally shall not be eligible for citizenship. but it didn't alter the underlying provisions of the bill that allowed for legal status in a work context. and every democrat on the committee voted against it. and, in fact, it was striking. i think that the singular moment in the immigration debate --
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[inaudible] if there is no citizenship, there can be no -- [inaudible] i took the opportunity to thank him. i said thank you, senator schumer, for your candor. because you've made very explicit you have an overarching partisan political objective, and if you don't get 100%, you're willing to do nothing about border security, nothing about immigration, nothing about high-tech workers, nothing about farm and ag, and you're willing to do nothing about the 11 million people who are in the shadows. you're willing to leave them in the shadows rather than solve this problem because your only priority is your artisan political agenda. and that's, sadly, where the white house is right now. >> yep. i loved it when you were on the mike levin show stwhr. oh, he's fantastic. he is the great one. >> thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> take care. >> thank you, senator.
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[inaudible conversations] >> thank you, thank you. yes, yes. we had such a good time at cpac. of -- thank you so much, alan. and i've got something this time from beautiful washington valley, up in the mown doings. do -- mountains. do the with cruz, that'd be -- the cruise with cruz, that'd be wonderful. great job. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. you're welcome, lori. >> senator cruz, thank you for coming, and thank you for fighting. >> we're doing it together. >> not a lot of people are. i have -- [inaudible] >> absolutely. >> [inaudible] >> the administration doesn't want -- [inaudible] and i think it is incumbent on
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congress to follow the facts wherever they lead and to discover what exactly happened. >> [inaudible] >> do you want to get a picture? >> i would love to. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> i'm bill smith s and i'm one of your biggest fans. god bless you. we need another ronald reagan. you're the closest i've seen. >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you. that means a great deal. >> you're the only one i would go to the wall for. >> look, we've all got to do it together. the only way we turn this is if we bring the american people. >> and we've got to have honest -- [inaudible] you're on the right track. >> thank you. i appreciate it.
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[inaudible conversations] >> nice to meet you. i would vote for you for president in a blink -- [inaudible] >> you know, i just want to real quickly say i'm concerned about -- [inaudible] about obamacare. and i worked for ms. kelly ayotte -- [inaudible] going to ruin us. number one, going to ruin us. [inaudible] you and i know that. and you're a -- [inaudible] and i don't know what it is about republicans -- [inaudible] human being owe, and i've communicated with him. but there are too many republicans that will not represent them, they will not tell the truth. and that's what i like about what you're doing, is you're telling the truth.
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[inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> that's the only way it will change, if they hear from the people. >> and i'm telling them. i'm ready to handwrite letters. i don't know what else to do. >> it makes a real difference. >> frankly, many our state that, you know -- [inaudible] they're not going to change, you know? i don't know. but thank you for what you're doing. i don't want to take up more of your time. >> thank you very much. >> could someone take a picture? >> sure, sure. >> thank you. >> got a little bit of -- there we go. that's much better. >> you're one of my heros, and i appreciate -- i'm honored i got to meet you. >> thank you. >> senator cruz, pleasure to meet you. >> what's your name? >> jason reid. a motivating talk, what you and
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mike lee and rand paul are doing, motivating a lot of us. appreciate it. hope one of you guys are our next president. >> appreciate you coming out. >> could i get a picture? >> is -- sure. >> appreciate it. >> thanks for coming up. [inaudible conversations] >> we have got to have more scrutiny. i think it's got to be driven from the house because it's authentic -- [inaudible] the ability to shut it down. in my view, what the house
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should do -- [inaudible] i have been urging them to do that. >> is there a way to hold, like -- [inaudible] >> i think that, i think they systematically walk through the facts, but it takes select committees. and the advantage of select committees -- [inaudible] thox "money rocks". [inaudible conversations] >> really nice meeting you. >> thank you. thank you for coming. [inaudible conversations]
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>> senator, it's me again. i have to tell you, when i came to this country from england 40 some years ago, i had $8 in my pocket. and i -- yes, i did. i came over as a nanny, but i still had $8 in my pocket. and here i am now living in this beautiful state, i'm having a great time, and -- [inaudible] >> well, i will tell you and i don't know if you all have kids. >> no, we don't, actually. we have a cat. >> well, on behalf of your cat -- [laughter] i will say it is, i think, a huge blessing to be the son of an immigrant that came here seeking freedom. because, and y'all have a special awareness of just how
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precious. >> and also i got away from socialized medicine in england. >> yep, yep. >> and i keep telling everybody here, you don't want it here. you don't want this obamacare. you don't want socialized medicine, because it's hour horrendous. >> i would love to send you, if you have an e-mail, john can send you when at the passing of margaret thatcher -- >> oh, god bless her. >> i gave a floor speech on the significant in honor of mrs. thatcher, and i would love to have john send it to you -- >> i would love that. [inaudible conversations] >> i'll take a picture, all right? doug? >> okay, now, look here. >> thank you so much. >> we'll keep following you. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> good luck. >> hi, ted.
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hey, i guess we're a little discouraged, freedom-loving yankee, but i'm thrilled, and i appreciate everything you're doing. >> thank you. >> thank you for the hard, hard work. keep trucking. >> we've definitely got to do it together. >> we will. thank you. thank you. >> senator, i already told you i love you. [inaudible] >> well, thank you for that. look, i think, i welcome any support that -- [inaudible conversations] >> we did a rally at the state capitol. [inaudible conversations]
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>> thank you. >> doing a rally with ron paul is like -- [inaudible] i mean, it was -- 5,000 people came out. >> [inaudible] >> i'm matt, by the way. >> do we have a sharpie or a darker -- it'll do better if we do. >> sharpie, there we go. >> do you want it on the picture or on the frame? >> on the frame's find-- fine. >> rob, r-o-b? [inaudible conversations] >> well, time will tell. thank you, thank you very much.
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[inaudible conversations] >>'s my lovely -- where's my lovely wife? i lost my wife? oh, well. >> senator, the federal regulations on -- [inaudible] >> i just talked to a guy from "the washington post" who said what concerns you? i said, federal regulations crushing our business, and i said, you know -- [inaudible] >> i would love to get more
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information specifically. if you could connect with us about specific examples. one of the things i'm trying to do is tell stories to make it real how regulations are killing jobs and making it harder to -- [inaudible] and it's much more real -- i would love to get your insights in terms of the barriers -- >> [inaudible] this weekend it's going to be a horror show. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> i appreciate it. >> thank you for your help. [inaudible conversations] >> don't let 'em out early. >> a little bit of light from there on you, that'll make for a better picture. thank you so much.
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come back and see us. you're always welcome. [inaudible conversations] >> we've got to do it together. >> we don't have any down there. got to have backbone, and i'm telling you, i'm throwing the establishment away. i've got you, i've got rand, i've got mike lee. counting on you. >> well, we've got to do it together. the only way is if people get -- [inaudible] >> you're moving up.
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[inaudible conversations] >> thank you, alan. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> i have not studied the bill yet. i'll give it a close look.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> and some updates as events change here in washington d.c. let you know secretary of state john kerry, his statement to the press will be held at 2 p.m. eastern time. we expect one of the major topics to be syria, and we'll have that live on our companion network, c-span. and today's medal of freedommer is moan think for army staff sergeant ty carter will be here on c-span2 live from the white house at 2:10 eastern. and a white house briefing has been rescheduled to 3:00 eastern time, expect more questions about syria after the reported chemical weapons use by the government there. that will be live also on our companion network, c-span. and around washington, d.c. over this past weekend and into the week it's been hosting events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march on washington for jobs and freedom led by marthe been luther king jr. back in august 28th, 1963. that anniversary is this wednesday, and another gathering is planned, called the let
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freedom ring ceremony. president obama's expected to speak, and we'll have live coverage on our companion network, c-span, as well as c-span radio. and among the events we're covering today, an event from the w.k. kellogg foundation on race in america. we'll have that entire event for you later in our program's scheduled to, but here's a brief look. >> i think early on mark raised the question, pointed out that the voting rights is a key issue that was on the minds of so many people over the course of this weekend. and we've seen, i guess, the question i would put out there is where do we go next based on this ruling? what is next? ben? >> well, folks right now are, you know, focused on three or four big things, right? we've got to get comprehensive immigration reform through. we have to get section four of the voting rights act restored. we have to raise the minimum wage and perhaps, quite frankly, raise it higher than we ever have before as far as the
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biggest leap. and then, you know, folks are almost very much focused on stand your ground laws and racial profiling and the agenda that comes out of the trayvon martin tragedy and, frankly, so many other tragedies. those are four big ones that seem to be right in the front of most folks who were at that march yesterday. but, of course, they're part of a wider range of issues that we continue to support various movements in pushing forward. i think we should have hope that we are, we will within our lifetime see a real renaissance as far as the power of our movement from coast to coast. we're starting to see it in various places. in this year we are winning more state-level battles to expand voting rights than we're losing them to constrict voting rights. the problem is we're going to be winning in states where we're winning and losing in states where we're losing. >> i've been writing for years now the pc has peaked, and the
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proof has finally arrived in the last year or so where you've seen pc sales actually falling dramatically, in the double digits, five quarters in a row. and before that it had been quite flat. some of this had to do with the economic meltdown around the developed world and really the whole world over the last four or five years, but even as economies have recovered, the pc has peaked. when i say it's peaked, i don't mean it's done, i don't mean people are going to throw their pcs away, i don't mean that tablets and smartphones, for instance, can replace everything a laptop can do. but what's happening is that there are enough scenarios
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for which people used to grab their laptop that are more conveniently done now on a tablet. >> "the wall street journal"'s walt mossberg looks at the future of personal technology in the first of a two-part interview tonight on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2. in our original series "first ladies: influence and image," we look at the public and private lives of the women who serve as the nation's first ladies, and now as we move into the modern era, we'll feature the first ladies in their own words. >> the building of human rights would be one of the foundation stones on which we would build in the world an atmosphere in which peace could rule. >> i don't think the white house can completely belong to one person, it belongs to the people of america. and i think whoever lives in it, the first lady should preserve
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its traditions and enhance it and leave something of herself there. >> season two of "first ladies" from edith roosevelt to michelle obama. live monday nights including your calls, facebook comments and tweets starting september 9th at 9 eastern on c-span. and tonight we'll conclude the encore presentation of season one of our series with first lady ida healthcare kinly. mckinley. >> the implementation of the affordable care act proceeding, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius spoke at an event last week looking at how the law would affect latino-americans. this is about an hour. [applause] [speaking spanish] >> welcome to congresso, i'm the president of congresso, and our
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philosophy is -- [speaking spanish] so i hope everybody feels welcomed into our lovely community. thanks for coming to north philadelphia. what we hope is going to happen today is that we're going to move to a closer understanding of the evolution of the affordable care act in the impact of our lives. and just to share with you what's going to happen or what you should expect this morning is will be some remarks, and then we'll enter into a panel where we'll have an opportunity to ask a number of questions. i will ask a number of questions to the panelists. you're sitting in the trujillo center on the congresso campus. we serve 14,000 individuals a year focusing on education, employment, health and social services. we founded the state's first latino domestic violence program, and in partnership with phmc, we run a principally-qualified health center. we also at the grassroots level
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talk with families talking about how do you mix -- [inaudible] with the correct ingredients to fight childhood obesity. today our focus and emphasis is on health. there are a number of folks here that we are so grateful to be in the audience, and i'd like to recognize jo ann grossi from hhs. [applause] and we have a number of representatives from elected officials' office, so i want to thank everybody for being here. i get the honor to introduce the first speaker who is somebody i got a chance to work for for a little bit. some of you might know who he is. and that is mayor michael nutter. while president of the u.s. conference of mayors, philadelphia's michael nutter said: mayors know firsthand the hardship of american families who have no medical insurance and the struggles they face as a result. access to affordable and quality
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health care is not only necessary, but will serve as a moral compass by which our nation will be judged. please join me in welcoming mayor michael nutter. [applause] >> good morning, everyone, and, cynthia, thank you very much. let me state at the outset, everyone knows cynthia, and you know that she was in the government, and you know that i was working for her. [laughter] let's be very, very clear about who was doing what with whom in that. and i was telling secretary sebelius that i did have the great fortune to kind of take cynthia from where she was and then all of a sudden congresso took her from me. [laughter] but it's all good, and i'm very, very proud of her. so, please, let us give our ceo of congresso a big round of applause. thank you, cynthia.
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[applause] and just a couple other folks that i need to recognize, and i have some pretty brief remarks. of course, our great deputy mayor for health and human services and the health commissioner for the city of philadelphia, dr. don schwartz is here with us. don? [applause] terry -- [inaudible] is director of federal affairs. terry, thank you. [applause] and ya mentioned her but -- cynthia certainly mentioned her, but certainly joanne dwrosi, thank you very much. [applause] i get the great honor and pleasure of welcoming again back to philadelphia -- i'd like to say and i think there's not hutch dispute about it that maybe other than washington, d.c. and her home city, i'm not
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sure that secretary sebelius has been in any other city more than the city of philadelphia. i'm going to say it. she's not going to dispute it, and that's just the way it's going to be. [laughter] but, please, welcome the secretary back to philadelphia. secretary sebelius, thank you very, very much. [applause] and specifically, this is her second visit back to philadelphia on the issue of the affordable care act in particular. as many of you know, we across the country are getting ready for health care exchanges authorized under the affordable care act. also for some of us affectionately known and positively known as obamacare because this is a signature, one of the signature items that president obama talked about, worked on, many have discussed it, he actually got it passed. and we want to thank president barack obama for his tremendous effort in this the affordable
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care act. this is -- [applause] and, of course, along with that act we expect to begin enrolling people this october. secretary sebelius' visit and the work that she's been doing all across the country are very, very important with regard to the affordable care act because it's critical for philadelphians in particular and their health. let me share some stats with you. 52% of the patients in philadelphia health clinics are uninsured, and many live below the poverty line, and that certainly also pertains to our children here in the city as well. unfortunately, the commonwealth of pennsylvania has refused, refused to expand medicaid leaving many of our fellow citizens ineligible for any of the services under the affordable care act. and that means that more than 100,000 uninsured philadelphians who are otherwise entitled to
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health care under the new law will remain uninsured. that is a disgrace here in this city and across the common wept of pennsylvania. [applause] commonwealth of a. and somehow, some way our neighbors just across the river in new jersey and and delaware and maryland have expanded medicaid for their citizens. but somehow in the commonwealth of pennsylvania and for the city of philadelphia, the birthplace of liberty, freedom and democracy, we don't have the same opportunity right here. other states across the country, with republican governors, have decided to expand medicaid because they know this process will bring federal dollars into their states. yet again, unfortunately, governor corbett and our general assembly won't be swayed to help many vulnerable pennsylvanians and philadelphians. and as a result, our state is losing out on millions of
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dollars of federal funding that could be used to improve the health care right here in philadelphia and across the commonwealth of pennsylvania. this must change. there is no reason not to expand medicaid in pennsylvania, and all of us should be talking to our members of the general assembly and the governor's office about this issue. looking out for philadelphians, looking out for pennsylvanians is the job of every elected official in this commonwealth ask, certainly, access to affordable health care is our right here in pennsylvania. [applause] our city's public health team under the extraordinary leadership of dr. don schwartz has been working hard to make philadelphia ready for open enrollment starting october 1st. so here are a few details. we have a health care reform link on the city's health d. web site -- department web site, a frequently-updated information
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resource on the affordable care act exchanges. you can check it out at -- they actually want me to say this -- www.phila.gov/health/commissione r/health reform.html. [laughter] everybody get that? >> [inaudible] >> it's also on the home page. go there. [laughter] we have benefits counselors in our city health centers already, but now we are working to train them to help philadelphians to get ready for exchange enroll ment. we are working to train the various health home visitors in the city and to give them information about exchanges to help connect their home health patients to insurance, and we will be coordinating with the new navigators the affordable care act community outreach organizations once they get up and running. and i want to point out that the city's health clinics are not eligible for navigator funding
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under affordable care act, but the city of philadelphia, we're putting our own resources into getting our patients connected to those navigators. [applause] our administration is diligently preparing for october 1st. we know that open enrollment is going to benefit millions of americans who deserve affordable, quality health care. president obama and secondary sebelius are fighting a tough battle, but it's the right battle and, ultimately, americans will be the winners. finish congress has tried to repeal the affordable care act i think about 38 times. >> 40. >> 40. lost track of who votes. [laughter] that is also a disgrace. maybe they should be working on voting to put more americans to work by passing the make america work act. [applause]
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maybe they should spend some of that time voting to increase funding for the cdbg program. maybe they should spend some of that time to invest in infrastructure and pass a long-term transportation bill. maybe they should do their jobs so that many philadelphians and pennsylvanians and americans can get a job. they have jobs. they have health care. they need to stop wasting their time and our time on these useless and endless fights about the affordable care act. it's the law, it was passed. we won that fight, it's over. move on to something else. [applause] so, again, i want to thank president obama and, again, secretary sebelius for their great leadership on this issue and many others. and i want to thank all of our local partners and certainly all of you here today. the affordable care act is here. we need to utilize it and make sure that americans are getting the health care that they
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deserve. thanks a lot. [applause] so you saw that, right? i had to get instruction from cynthia. you saw that. picked that up? [laughter] ladies and gentlemen, the great secretary of the department of health and human services for the united states of america, secretary kathleen sebelius. [applause] >> well, it sounds like the mayor is fired up and ready to go. [laughter] i like that attitude. benas dias and thank you to cynthia and the great team here at congresso for not only having us here today and hosting this important community discussion, but also for being a great champion for coverage. and i know the kind of outreach that's going to go on here in,
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throughout the community thanks to this organization is huge. i want to thank the mayor for welcoming me back to philadelphia. i haven't gotten the keys to the city yet, but i'm kind of waiting for that. [laughter] it is great to be here. and great to have a chance to visit with all of you once again. you know, part of what we're focused on around the country is making sure that latinos have a chance to reach their full potential in this country as huge contributors to the diversity and the broad richness of the united states. the latino population has about 10.2 million nationally eligible and uninsured residents here in, across the country. it's one of the highest
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uninsured populations in america, so outreach into the community to talk about what is available and what's coming is hugely important. be uninsurance is not just that you haven't bought a product of late. it really is a public health crisis. we know that people live sicker and die sooner without health insurance. there is a direct correlation. we know that workers are less productive, that kids are less successful in school, that families have a more difficult time taking care of their own business. so health insurance is really about a quality of life, and it's about the ability for each and every person to have not only the security that they won't lose everything if they get sick, but it's about peace of mind, peace of health, taking care of our families, contributing to our community. and that's why the full implementation of the affordable
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care act so critically important. so let me just give you a little snapshot. the law really is about a portion of the population who is either uninsured or underinsured or in and out of the marketplaces. but let's start with the other 85% of people. across pennsylvania and here in philadelphia, most people have health coverage, have coverage that is relatively affordable, it does a good job on behalf of themselves and their families, and all that has happened with that coverage is, actually, it has gotten stronger thanks to the health care law. people now have preventive services as part of their health plan without co-pays and co-insurance, so everything from cancer screenings to children's immunizations have to be covered. everyone will have an opportunity to make sure that if you're under 26, you can stay on your parents' plan. so we now have about four
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million young adults, just under 100,000 latino young adults here across the country, who would be uninsured except for the law. they now have full coverage. we know that small business openers are already benefiting from tax credits so they can provide coverage to their employees, and those tax credits will increase. we have a situation where people don't have to worry about being in the middle of a treatment and running out of coverage which happened to individuals all the time because there are now no lifetime limits that can be be imposed on policies. and beginning next year, there will be an out-of-pocket limit year to year so people won't be, even insured won't be stuck with bills they can't pay. so those things have already begun to be in place since the president signed the law in 2010. the last piece of implementation
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is about to happen. starting october 1st of this year, as the mayor has already said, for about 15% of americans who don't have health coverage at all, they will have some new opportunities. they will have a new marketplace available to them. and because they don't have an employer paying a share of the coverage, they have some help from the federal government. about 92% across the country of people and here in pennsylvania who don't have insurance coverage at all or who have unaffordable coverage will have some financial help acing for that coverage -- paying for that coverage for themselves and their family. and they'll have a choice. for the first time ever in the united states, companies will have to compete against each other based on price and service. they will no longer be able to lock anybody out because of a pre-existing health condition. being a woman will no longer be with a pre-existing condition. you can't be charged more for your insurance coverage.
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[applause] very good news. and some of the rules which used to lock out or price out or dump people out of the market are changing forever. so here is why this is such a critical period for the latino communities. latinos have the highest rate of uninsurance in the country. we also know that they make up about 25% of the individuals eligible for new coverage option under the law, and that will affect more than about ten million people. in pennsylvania about 9% of the state's eligible uninsured are hispanic. in philadelphia that that number's even higher. it's about 17% of the eligible uninsured are latino. more of them are men than women, and we know that there are a number of young adults in the 18-34 category who also need
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that cover an. now, i'm the parent -- coverage. now, i'm the parent of two young adult sons. i know that getting health insurance is not their top priority. they don't get up every morning thinking about health coverage. [laughter] i'm not sure some days what they're thinking about, but i can pretty well guarantee it's not health insurance. [laughter] so getting the attention of younger adults is also a priority in in this outreach campaign. a lot of people don't think about not having coverage until something goes wrong, but i like to remind folks that we are all an accident, an illness or a diagnosis away from what could with be be a lifetime of unpayable bills or treatment that could save a life. never before in this country have we had the opportunity that we have today where afford bl coverage is really -- affordable coverage is really within reach. so to help individuals begin to think about enrollment, we have a web site up and running. ours is a little easier than the
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one the mayor just recited. [laughter] it's healthcare.gov. healthcare.gov. and the spanish version is -- [speaking spanish] anyone can access the web site today, begin to develop an account, get information about what's coming, get questions answered. and the web site is designed to be pretty consumer-friendly and easy to access. it even has the kind of chat feature that you have when you're shopping online. so if you pause too long, somebody will pop up and say do you want to have a conversation. we also have a call center that's open 4 hours a day -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we have translators available to answer questions in up to 150 languages. and that is up and running right now so people can get their information. and you heard the mayor reference the fact that there are now in-person helpers
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beginning to populate communities across the country including here in philadelphia. so all community health centers will have outreach and enrollment individuals. navigators will be available in commitments. and then we have organizations -- in communities x. then we have organizations and volunteers who will be training staff to help, and i was so pleased to hear the mayor talk about the city of philadelphia putting their own resources. because we know some people are tech-savvy and go online, some people want to talk to a live human being on the phone, and others need one-on-one, person-to-person help, and they may need questions answered over a series of months. and that's why we have a six month open enrollment period that begins on october 1st. so a brand new day is coming. i share the mayor's hope that the pennsylvania legislature and the governor will reconsider the decision to expand medicaid, because ab sent medicaid
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expansion, there will be way too many citizens who will not have any access to affordable care, and that would be a tragedy. and let me just tell you because i think this is often a myth that is circulated, of the medicaid-eligible uninsured individuals, over 80% -- over 80% -- have a full-time worker in the family. so these are people who are going to work every day. they just do not have employer-based coverage or don't have the income to afford 100% of coverage on their own. but it is a big opportunity. the door is not closed by the federal government. there is no time that the offer runs out. but the federal government for the first three years of medicaid expansion will pay 100% of the costs, 900% -- 100%. of all the newly-eligible individuals.
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and over the next seven years, for a ten-year period of time, the federal government's share goes down but never below 90%. so it's always at a minimum a 90/10 share. and that is a pretty good deal for the state of pennsylvania. so i'm delighted to be here, i'm delighted to have a chance to participate in the panel. i'm anxious to hear from hilda who is part of the panel today. congresso is one of the great champions that we're working with. everybody from the national council of la raza and to local faith and health care communities are stepping up in pennsylvania and around the country. now, president obama likes to remind us that change doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't often happen in washington alone. it really happens door to door, day-to-day in towns and communities across the country with neighbors and friends
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talking to one another, with outreach going on with people who are trusted. so all of you can be outreach helpers. you can talk to your family members. you can talk to your neighbors. you can talk to your church group. you can go and put a link on your facebook page reminding seem that on october 1st there's some new opportunities. we need that person-to-person coverage. this is an historic opportunity that we've never had in the united states. as the mayor said, presidents for 70 years have been trying to deal with comprehensive reform. relins and democrats. -- republicans and democrats. and while it may seem that this is still a political debate, the debate is really over. the law was signed in march of 2010 by the president of the united states. a year ago the supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the affordable care act. and president barack obama was reelected pretty overwhelmingly.
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this is the law, and we're about implementing the law. so it's great to be with all of you, and i look forward to working with you on a healthier, more prosperous philadelphia, pennsylvania and the united states of america. so thanks very much. [applause] >> so thank you, secretary. we're going to transition to our panel, and i'd just like to highlight some folks who are going to be with us as it relates to our panel. as mentioned by the secretary, you will hear from hilda. the secretary will be joining us as well as i'd like to invite dr. don schwartz to come, and our mayor's staying. [laughter] so i'd also welcome -- so we're happy to have another seat at the table for dr. schwartz. so i'm actually while we're transitioning, i'm going to
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start where the rubber hits the road which is about consumers, and i've asked, we've asked and invited hilda to share a little bit about her own experience as it has to do with affordable care act and her own story and how those bits and pieces connect. so, hilda, welcome. >> thank you. okay. well, as you can tell, i am la latina. i'm from this region, the north philadelphia area. i'm the first generation puerto rican, also the first to graduate from high school, undergrad and graduate school in my family. >> can't hear. >> can you hear me? oh. i don't know how to do this. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> will okay. which one do i speak into? can you hear me now? >> there you go. >> i need a booster seat. >> okay.
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>> all right, thank you. >> thank you. >> okay. i'll start over. [laughter] i'm latina, and i'm from this area, from the north philadelphia area. i'm first generation puerto rican, i'm the first to graduate from high school, from undergrad and graduate school. when i graduated from undergrad, i was around 22. between that time and enrolling into graduate school, i was employed full-time and no benefits. but luckily, when i enrolled back into school, i was able to get back onto my parents' insurance because around that time was when one of the first provisions of the affordable care act came into effect. that allowed me to stay on until i was 26. this past june i turned 26, i aged out again. [laughter] and again i'm fully employed, i'm a legal assistant and no health insurance. and so again, aca is, has been a
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blessing for me because i'm able to, or i will be able to shop for affordable and quality health insurance and eventually in october actually be able to enroll. and for me as a young person, it's important to have health insurance because i can get sick or hurt at any time and incur health expenses that i can't afford. and so that's why it's important for me to have health insurance and, and aca has definitely been good to me so far. [laughter] >> okay. nice job. [applause] >> thank you. >> a little nervous about today, but i think she did a fantastic job, and -- [applause] so, secretary, i know you get to travel quite a bit around the nation and just interested in your observations of hearing hilda's story and how community-based organizations, partners here can get the right
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messages out when you have that elevator speech. what are some of the overviews that are critical for us to share? >> well, i think hilda is representative of a lot of the young adult population. again, one of highest uninsured populations in this country. we made a big dent in that population with the provision about up to 26 you can be on a parent's plan, but as hilda said, if you're healthy, you go beyond 26, we hope. [laughter] and then you're aged out again. or a lot of people don't have parents who have health insurance plans. so they are still highly uninsured population, and it does strike me that one of the things people need to know about is in the new markets there will be a plan specifically for folks under the age of 30, a catastrophic plan if they want some coverage but don't want all the bells and whistles, and then
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there'll be with choices of four different insurance levels in a more comprehensive plan along with accelerated tax credits depending on someone's income. so i think for the first time people are going to find coverage very affordable. we also know that while there's, i think, a myth about young people not wanting insurance coverage, every focus group, every survey, every market said that's just not true. three million people stepped up right away and got enrolled over the last couple of years on parents' plans, and most of that happened within the first six months. but we hear all the time, and i hear as i travel around from folks who just said i just want a chance to really take care of myself. i don't want to put my parents in a situation where something happens, they could lose their house or they could lose their job or i would be faced with a lifetime of bills. i really want to be responsible. i just can't afford it right
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now. so i think this is a really good day, and it's just something that's going to take a little extra outreach. we know that we're going to have to use social network sites is and a more -- in a more aggressive way to tweet or use facebook. we also have lots of partners who come out of the entertainment community and the sports community who may be good messengers to reach out to young adults. so all of those are going to be used. >> great. we're very fortunate that our deputy mayor for the city of philadelphia is also our health commissioner and more critical to this discussion, a physician. and so i'd like to ask you a question wearing your hat as a doctor. we've heard a lot about the policy and some of the financing of the affordable care act. can you talk from a perspective why is health insurance so critical and why the affordable care act really provides measures from a physician standpoint?
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>> well, health care is expensive, and as many people here and many of the people who know people here are clear, if particularly young people who are the great majority of those who are uncovered don't have health insurance, they don't have access often to preventive care and care early in the course of a problem. and we see, for instance, that occur with miles per minor inju. so folks who are at work or out playing who have a minor injury may be somewhat disabled or somewhat held back and can't do anything about it to find out if it's serious or not. that injury become bees worse as their life and -- becomes worse as their life and activities continue until they're at a point that they need much more expensive and urgent care and may even have permanent disability from that. for prevention there are a
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series of preventive things -- immunization was mentioned by the secretary, but checking for early stages of risk for heart disease can, hypertension. we know that in philadelphia in particular young people are at very high risk for hypertension, obesity and so forth. coverage for care means good advice, medication if needed and assuring for loved ones and family as people establish young families that not only they, but their family can be covered. doing that early, a fundamental part of the affordable care act and understanding was that if we identify problems early and give people access to care for those problems early, we'll avoid both disability and pain and suffering, but also the long-term costs for all of us if we see people and care for them early. >> um, sitting in the heart of eastern north philadelphia is a concentration of the latino community. not all of the latino community
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in philadelphia. you talked -- you mentioned the web site is in spanish, secretary, and both if the mayor, deputy mayor or secretary want to respond be, can you talk about the amount of resources including the application being in spanish and other languages and also the needs of undocumented individuals as it relates to the awe ford bl care act -- affordable care act. >> well, the bill is crafted in such a way that those who are undocumented will not have access to the tax credits or shopping in the marketplace. that has been limited which is, frankly, why another very keen reason why we need comprehensive immigration reform. unfortunately -- [applause] we won't fix the immigration
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system, unfortunately, through the health care bill, but i think having the immigration bill that passed the senate pass the house would be a huge step. in the meantime, i would say for those undocumented residents we have continued access to the community health centers and an expanded footprint in the community health centers. we have additional financing going for culturally-competent community providers, doctors, nurses, dentists, mental health professionals who actually speak the language and reach out to a neighborhood. we've doubled the size of the public health service corps which, to me, is one of the great well-kept secrets in america. it's like the peace corps for health workers. the you agree to serve in an underserved area, the federal government helps pay off the student loans and debt that a lot of health professionals
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carry. and what we find is that when people actually take up service in the national health service corps, they stay in the commitments that they are serving -- in the communities that they are serving long beyond their assignment. so there will be continued access for undocumented. and i think there's no question that outreach to individuals in, again, a language and answering questions in this a culturally-appropriate manner is a huge part of this effort. it's not going to come out of washington. it's not going to come even out of a neighborhood that people are not familiar with. it has to really be part of a dialogue with neighbors and family and friends. and health care providers. that will be the most effective way to answer people's questions, tell them what's coming, help if people need help walking through an application to make sure and do that. and i failed to many mention,
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cynthia, that joanne grossi who's here, her office is right here in philadelphia. there's a team who are sort of the hhs folks on the ground. she is the go-to person to provide help and information and materials for meetings and help with outreach, but she does a terrific job, and i just wanted to -- i didn't want to not mention her. >> cynthia, on the particular issue dealing with folks who may not be have all their documentation in order, i don't use the other terms that some other people do, but for folks who are undocumented, a couple things. one, as dr. schwartz reminds me, even through the worst of the recession we did everything we possibly could to minimize any negative impact op our health centers. we have eight health centers
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across the city of philadelphia, and they were last, last, last on any list to get any reductions. although we made cuts all over the city government. that's one. and we are, and i am committed and, certainly, working with dr. schwartz to maintaining a high quality of service and the funding that goes with our eight health centers. the second issue, though -- [applause] second issue, though, to go a little more into what cynthia talked about with regard to folks who are undocumented, i signed an executive order -- i think in 2010 -- that requires all of the executive branch of the government at least that you cannot deny someone service from the city of philadelphia just because you may be in an undocumented status. and i signed that executive order specifically to make sure that while folks are trying to deal with their paperwork and
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dealing with immigration and all those folks over there at the federal side, that's not our responsibility. our respondent is to provide -- our responsibility is to provide service to anyone who shows up who's in this city. [applause] and so, folks, people should continue to come certainly to our health centers, and i want to mention that jennifer rodriguez and fernandoer the reno are both here from the relatively new office of immigration services and cultural affairs. and so, please, let us make sure that we're doing our best in trying to provide services to folks notwithstanding any language challenges, documentation status. if you are here, it is our job to try to provide the best high quality service and care that we can as a local government. that's our commitment. >> great. believe it or not, we are coming a little bit to a close with our panel, so i have one -- time flies when you have great people
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talking about a really important issue. just to highlight, open enrollment -- did we miss anything? important dates? what's the web site if we could just go through this again both from the federal level and then on the ground here in philly. >> well, at healthcare.gov, there is information right now available, and it will be very state-specific information as we move forward. starting october 1, we -- and on the web site is also the toll-free call-in number. as well as information about who the navigators are in this area. we'll begin to populate, so if people want to actually go find an individual. i know that congresso will continue to play a very active role in this community with information, with their health
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center operation, with enrollment and outreach folks. so that will continue to be a very key outreach opportunity. starting october 1st is really a six month open enrollment period. so it goes all the way from the 1st of october until the end of march, 2014. plan year, the insurance would actually start in january, and it is an opportunity for people really to get information and make some comparisons and make some choices that are good for themselves and their families. and look at the information, ask questions, call a helper, go see somebody. so we just want to make sure that folks understand this will be help available on the phone, in person, on the web. we have announced partnerships with libraries, and a number of local libraries are stepping up to dedicate computers and to have a trained resource librarian as well as materials.
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so that will become available. i know that cvs pharmacies are training their employees so when someone comes to fill a prescription, they will understand who has insurance and who doesn't have enrollment information available. a lot of health care providers will have similar information. blue cross blue shield has just announced a partnership with walgreens. they will also have outreach and enrollment. so you're going to see more and more visible presence as we move closer to october. and, hopefully, people can find a way to get questions answered that they have, have someone help them the they need that help -- if they need that help, come together and really take advantage of this historic opportunity. but i would say the medicaid battle has to continue here. we cannot forget that for the lowest income working pennsylvanians if you don't expand medicaid, you will still have, i think, the numbers i was
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given about 95,000 individuals here in philadelphia and overall about 200,000 individuals in pennsylvania who would not have any financial help at all s. ask that would be a terrible -- and that would be be a terrible tragedy as we implement this important law. >> yeah. i'll give you the shorter one. it's -- enter i like the long one. >> i can't even remember it now. [laughter] which is why i'm giving the shorter one. philadelphia president f -- philadelphia.phila.gov. and, obviously, with october 1st coming up, we're gearing up to partner in instances, of course, with the navigators. and dr. don is going to talk a little bit about some of our enhanced efforts to make sure that people are getting the word out. 100,000 folks, as just one last thing on what the secretary
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said. it is -- i truly do not understand. i mean, i've read some things. i have not been able to have any understanding as to why the state of pennsylvania is not expanding medicaid. i hear about the costs, the governors have figured out it brings money, it doesn't cost you any money. so i don't know, i truly don't know what this is about. i don't know -- can't even read between the tea leaves about one. and again, many other governors, regardless of party, have figureed out how to do it. and i know we're quite unique and special here in pennsylvania, but we are not that unique on this particular issue. we need to expand medicaid. >> just to put a fine point on what the mayor said, in the first five years of medicaid expansion, $17 billion of federal funding would come into the state of pennsylvania to pay for what is now often uncompensated or undelivered care. so those costs are being borne by hospitals, they're being
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borne by health care providers who deliver care and don't have any reimbursement. but $17 billion would come into the state and be available to -- and allow tax dollars to be spent elsewhere. >> you want to talk about -- >> one thing to say. on the federal web site now and linked from our web site is early information for people who will be eligible for the exchanges to help them budget. and one thing that i think we often forget is that someone whose income is 150% of the poverty level has a really tight budget. be and paying anything for health care even though it will be a very small amount requires planning and budgeting. my experience is, and the health department's experience and our home visiting groups who are going out to deliver information now are finding that people now are very interested in learning about what will this cost so
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that they can start budgeting. and people's interest in signing up for the exchange is very much tied to how much is it going to cost to me if i go to the exchange. so, please, get the word out that people can, with no risk and no harm and no questions asked, go to one of the web sites now and learn personally or for themselves what the benefits are and what the small but real costs are so they can get excited and ready. and then when we start real enrollment in the exchanges, we'll have 100,000 prepared philadelphians who will all, in october, sign up. [laughter] >> so this concludes our panel and our event. i just want to welcome and thank everybody again for being here. congresso, we are going to be doing a lot of work, congresso.net, easy web site. [laughter] feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. we'll be doing more, and you'll
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hear from us. thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> varying degrees of cooperation around the country. how big of a challenge has that been for you personally and just for the law's implementation in general. and if you could, could you talk a little bit about how your own experience as governor has been important -- >> i would say that even in states where we may not have a governor's full support, the mayors have been extraordinary. they are often on the front lines of delivering health care services and picking up the cost for unreimbursed care. so i have found every place i've gone -- texas and georgia and florida and other states where the governor may not be all in finish the mayors are all in. members of congress are in. faith leaders and health care providers are very enthusiastic. so there's always a team on the ground who is really eager to move forward. clearly, it -- this law will work better in states where everybody wants it to work.
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it is more challenging when there's misinformation put out on a regular basis where you have to tell people, yes, the law, indeed, will apply the you. there are people who get up in texas every day who don't think that the law is ever even going to work in that state. so getting through that information. but i think as a former governor i used to be on the receiving end of a lot of the hhs programs. i ran the medicaid program, i dealt with dual eligibles, a lot of uninsured. i can tell you i would have loved to have had the medicaid deal when i was governor. 100% of the cost of newly-insured people. we would have taken it up in a heartbeat. but i think it has given us a framework of, also, flexibility. trying to make sure that people understand there isn't just one cookie cutter aroach. we're eager to work with states. state regulation of insurance is still important. i am a former, a recovering insurance commissioner, so i know that marketplace very well.
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so i think those experiences have been enormously helpful being in the position i am right now. >> [inaudible] >> 40 days. >> how -- >> but who's counting? >> she's not keeping that close of track on it. >> i'm curious, in those 40 days how are you going go raise awareness so that people know these exchanges are available to them, and, you know, given that tight deadline, what are you looking to dosome. >> i think events like this. i think the secretary has done a tremendous job bringing both federal attention, but bringing the message to the ground and organizations like congresso represent a community, and we're working as close as we can with our federal partners to make sure the information is out. >> and also, as the secretary mentioned, there are many, many mayors across the united states of america. we have a leadership meeting just a month or so ago, and this was a huge topic of conversation for many of the mayors.
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again, regardless of party, most of the hay yours actually don't pay that much attention to political parties. we have services to deliver. we have to make things happen, and you want your folks to get health care, you want them to be well and healthy. so there is a growing group of mayors all across the united states of america, democrats and republicans, who are actively engaged in this process. and i'll certainly be doing hi part here in philly. >> and it really is now time for us to activate the local advocacy commitments, the local outreach communities, the faith-based communities and wonderful organizations like congresso. this can't be done from within washington. it never has been the idea that it would be with done. we need the partners on the ground. that's why the navigator grants rolled out last week. people will begin to be populated. every community health center in the country has gotten resources to hire education and end rollingment people. a lot of hospitals are training their own staff. we've trained several thousand
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agents and brokers who can hart of -- who will be part of this. so this is now translated into reaching out into communities where we know there are large numbers of uninsured, being able to answer questions and then encouraging people to take advantage advantage of the opportunity they have to get the health security for themselves and their families. >> right. >> [inaudible] >> it wasn't assed, it just wasn't appropriated. we certainly have gone back to congress a number of times for outreach and funding, and that budget has not been forthcoming. so we are, you know, working with the resources that we have, but knowing that makes partnerships all the more d i mean, they always were going to be hugely important, but they're all the more important because, you know, we're basically launching a new national product, and in the states where the federal government is running the marketplaces, we are
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responsible for that outreach and enrollment with our partners on the ground. >> think about how insane that is. >> more questions? oh, sorry. >> think about how insane that is. the congress has acted, the president has signed a law, we're about to sign people up, and yet some in congress think that we should not inform people about health care that is available and ready for them and actually improve their lives. i mean, that is mean-spirited. and i don't understand why at -- i mean, if they want to keep voting to try to repeal, you know, that's their business. we have a law. people are about to sign up. why you wouldn't market the hell out of this is beyond my understanding, and, you know, but again, the secretary is very creative, and she does have a lot of support and a lot of partners. she's flying all around the country. we're going to get the word out one way or the other and get people signed up so that they can have health care. >> [inaudible] >> as a former governor knowing that each state is different,
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what's the demands that you've been getting from around the cub? >> well, i think that, clearly, we cannot waive issues that are statutory. so we have to work within the law. having said that, the law actually whether it's medicaid expansion or some other features gives us a lot of flexibility. so we have, we have some states that we're partnering with around the markets. they're running parts of it, we're running parts of it at the federal level. we have the ability in medicaid expansion to try and incorporate features that are really important to the state. so in the state of indiana, for instance, they have a healthy indiana program. they wanted that to be part of their new medicaid outreach and enrollment. we said, fine, and we fashioned the program to look like that. in arkansas they're using premium assistance dollars and companies in the private exchange market to provide medicaid services. that's fine. so we -- it isn't that we have one strategy that every plan has
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to look exactly the same. we are eager to have states take a look at this. i mean, in pennsylvania there would be $17 billion of federal funding in the first five years coming into this state to help insure some of the lowest income, working pennsylvanians. and that seems, to me, to be a very good deal. .. >> that's all the time we have, guys. thank you.